Monday, December 15th, 2014

ROSEMARY BEACH — The beach communities along County 30A in South Walton rival popular destinations in the Caribbean, Dallas developer Mark Humphreys said.

“If you travel to some of the Caribbean islands like the Caymans or Turks and Caicos and Anguilla, these little towns along 30A have better atmosphere and the beaches rival those locations,” Humphreys said. “It’s a great place. You don’t find beaches like that probably anywhere in the world.”

That increasing demand for vacation accommodations along 30A is the bedrock for The Inn on the Gulf, a new luxury resort development aiming to open next spring at the intersection of U.S. 98 and 30A near Rosemary Beach.

Humphreys, the chief executive officer of Atticus Real Estate Services, the company behind the project, said during the busy spring and summer months, it’s often difficult to find a vacation rental along 30A.

“There’s nothing available in season. … There’s just nothing available,” Humphreys said. “We’ve been developing homes in the 30A market for some time now … and we’ve been seeing a lot of success in leasing homes. The weekly rental is what we’re going for.”

Site work already has begun for the complex, which will feature 68 two- and three-bedroom, condominium-style units. He expects construction to begin in about a month, following an official groundbreaking ceremony.

The project is joined by several others in the Rosemary Beach/Inlet Beach area along U.S. 98, in what developers are calling the “Gateway to 30A” in east Walton County, near the Bay County line.

Other projects going vertical along the corridor include the 16.5-acre commercial retail center “30Avenue,” headed by CorrGroup Inc., and a 17,000-square-foot retail center called “The Crossings at Inlet Beach.”

“The four corners at 98 and 30A are now being developed,” Humphreys said. “We are being very respective of the area and want to do indigenous planting and very nice developments.”

The design for The Inn at the Gulf is hip and modern, with environmentally friendly solar panels, recycled glass countertops and other “green” features. Negotiations are also underway to open an on-site restaurant, which would carry the same upscale design concept.

“It will be in character of 30A and Rosemary Beach, but a little more modern in style,” Humphreys said. “It’s a very hip kind of place. It’s going to be very high-end.”

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