St. Johns, FLORIDA

Located in an ecologically sensitive setting alongside the headwaters of Trout Creek, the 1,500-acre Shearwater community has been planned to integrate more than 600 acres of rich native landscape and to create an extensive network of trails and open spaces that create unique connections for people and nature.

With a beautifully natural existing site, ELM designed Shearwater for a multigenerational population including active families. Shearwater embraces the qualities of ecological preservation and human activity – together. The heart of Shearwater is the Kayak Club, comprised of a robust aquatic amenity including a resort-style pool, lap pool, slide tower and lazy river. A fitness lodge, playground areas, sports fields and four lighted Har-Tru tennis courts have been designed to support a variety of activities for all residents of any age, emphasizing health, wellness, and social engagement.

Together with the community’s extensive programmed amenities, Shearwater has been carefully woven into the native landscape, with parks, open spaces and trails that link communities with the property’s most impressive natural features.

A creek-side pavilion will be constructed in Phase I, creating an immersive natural experience and an opportunity to engage with Trout Creek. A Kayak and Canoe Launch will be constructed in Phase II, allowing people to paddle several miles along the entire length of Trout Creek to the St Johns River through some of the region’s most remarkable wild landscapes.



Freehold Communities

Services Provided

Community Master Planning

Community Amenity Design


Community Landscape Architecture

Trail Planning & Design

Entry Design

Signage Design


Development At a Glance:

  • 2,600 lots

  • 13 miles of walking trails

  • 600 acres preserved habitat, parks & lakes

  • North & South Creek parks with kayak launch to Trout Creek

  • K-8 St. John's County school site

  • 10-acre County park site next to school

  • Heart of Shearwater – Amenity Center includes:

  • 7,000-sq-ft Kayak Club

  • Fitness Lodge and Bath House

  • Playground areas

  • Sports fields

  • 4 lighted Har-Tru tennis courts

  • Aquatic amenity with:

  • Resort-style pool

  • Lap pool

  • Slide tower

  • Lazy river


Project Team

ELM – Master Planner, Architect & Landscape Architect

Prosser – Civil Engineer

Ansana Interior Design – Interior Designer

Lowe Structures – Structural Engineer

Gregory Engineering – Mechanical & Plumbing Engineer

Schaffer Engineering Group – Electrical Engineer

Dicky Smith & Company – Contractor


2017 Aurora Award
Southeast Building Conference (SEBC)
Residential Housing Community of the Year — Masterplan
Shearwater - St. Augustine, Florida

2017 Aurora Award
Southeast Building Conference (SEBC)
Best Recreational Facility
Shearwater - St. Augustine, Florida

2017 Aurora Award
Southeast Building Conference (SEBC)
Best Community Site Plan
Shearwater - St. Augustine, Florida

2017 Aurora Award
Southeast Building Conference (SEBC)
Best Interior Merchandising — Community Amenity or Clubhouse
Shearwater - St. Augustine, Florida

2017 Excellence in Construction Eagle Award
Florida First Coast Chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC)
Commercial Construction – $5-$10 million Category
Kayak Club Amenity Center, Shearwater - St. Augustine, Florida

Shearwater has been carefully designed to fit sensitively into the native landscape, with parks, open spaces and 13 miles of trails that link residential neighborhoods together, and to engage with the property’s most impressive natural features. We’re excited to see how this community’s unique design will support an intentional culture of health and wellness that allows its residents to thrive within this beautiful natural context.
— Stephen Lovett, ELM Partner


Florida Times-Union

Shearwater community wins prestigious awards for design, construction


Ponte Vedra Recorder

Shearwater community wins five design and construction awards



County developments mix gated, ungated neighborhoods to attract customers


WJXT News4Jax

Growing St. Johns County population draws more developments
Shearwater community using amenities to attract families

St. Augustine Record

Did Freehold consider building a golf course when first developing the plans for Shearwater?


St. Augustine Record

Shearwater hosts grand opening celebration


Jacksonville Business Journal

Major residential community in St. Johns County celebrates opening


Jacksonville Business Journal

Homebuilders begin construction on St. Johns County community