Sitting at the northern most point of the Jacksonville region, Nassau County is one of the economic development leaders of the state of Florida due to its population growth, workforce, strong and diverse business makeup as well as prime location in Northeast Florida. Nassau’s diverse business makeup includes a variety of commercial, industrial and retail in the east, as well as agricultural activity in the west and central areas — all industries playing a part in the remarkable growth story that continues to take shape in Nassau County.
According to the Nassau County Growth Trends Reports, Nassau is the seventh fastest-growing county in Florida and is projected to experience a significant population increase of 44.6% by 2035. Currently home to nearly 100,000 residents, the expected population surge is complemented with substantial development initiatives in industry and infrastructure.
The most recent development initiative came at the end of last year when it was announced that a 1.5 million-square-foot industrial park will be developed in Widlight, a master-planned mixed-use community in Nassau County, established by Rayonier Inc. in 2017 that spans 24,000 acres. Both Rayonier and WestRock have been in the area for almost 80 years, grounding the area in advanced manufacturing, and serving as top employers.
Employers in Nassau County benefit from the access to the wide array of talent Northeast Florida has to offer. Part of this is due to the region’s focus on the development of the workforce of today and the future. Nassau was recently recognized for having the fourth best school district in the state and the highest percentage of “A” school grades statewide. In addition, it offers a quality of life attractive to new and future talent. With sandy beaches, planned communities and rural charm, it is appealing in many different ways.
Nassau County is also near four military installations — Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Naval Station Mayport, Marine Corps Support Facility Blount Island and Naval Air Station Jacksonville. As the third best city in the United States for retired veterans, the Jacksonville region provides a welcoming environment and ample opportunities for all those looking to transition back to civilian life and enter the workforce.
While talent is a big draw to businesses looking to relocate to Northeast Florida, Nassau County’s Crawford Diamond Industrial Park offers the opportunity for expansion. With development-ready sites at one of only two Megasite Certified sites in Florida and the only dual-rail served site in the state, businesses have same-day access to more than 98 million consumers through highway, rail, air and maritime at the deepwater Port of Fernandina Beach.
Nassau County will continue to be a strategic growth point for the Jacksonville region. As more companies and workers track to Northeast Florida, they will find tremendous opportunities in an area already fueled by development and investment.