~BOM director sketches port potential, roadblocks to Port Authority~

Published: Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 10:02 AM.

“What we are charged with is turning on the light in this gateway. Not only for the benefit of the company, but also you. We want to do everything we can to continue to develop the port.”

Holt and St. Joe senior vice president Jorge Gonzalez both emphasized that the gateway of the Port of Port St. Joe was a part of a broader effort to maximize the potential of the region.

And in developing that gateway, the Port Authority and its land – which combined with St. Joe’s holdings around the port account for more than 300 acres, with a rail line – are essential to the equation.

“We’ve been focused on the big dog, not just the little dog,” Gonzalez said, emphasizing the partnership between company and Port Authority. “The Port Authority asset is going to be something folks are going to look at. They have to.”

Holt, noting that most large ports are near metropolitan areas, said he expects that an investor will be one looking for “low-hanging fruit” or a port with a largely untapped potential that would likely provide added value at a relatively low price.

“I am encouraged by what you are saying,” said Port Authority president Leonard Costin.

Holt said it was also important not to expect results, like, next week.

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