Trendy Atlantic Beach was a small seaside community around 1900 when Henry Flagler, the builder of the Florida East Coast Railway, constructed the Mayport branch of the railway and erected a station just north of the former Atlantic Beach City Hall -- where the Adele Grage Cultural Center is located today.
The Continental Hotel, with 300 rooms, was built soon afterward on a tract of land between the depot and the beach. Around the hotel, the land was subdivided and sold for summer homes. Auto races on the beach, along with aerial shows, attracted tourists and the area experienced considerable growth.
In 1913, the railroad sold most of the land to the privately-held Atlantic Beach Corporation, which began paving streets, installing lights and water and sewer lines. By 1926, the Town of Atlantic Beach was officially incorporated, and chartered as a city in 1957.
Recent city commissions recognized the need to acquire land for recreational purposes. In 1994 and 1996, the city acquired approximately eight acres on the Intracoastal Waterway and 27 acre island now known as Dutton Island Preserve. The island is experiencing on-going development as a nature park to include trails, a floating dock for launching kayaks and canoes, a fishing pier, camping sites and pavilions. Residents may now enjoy more than sixty-five acres of parkland.
Atlantic Beach Real Estate
Today, the City of Atlantic Beach is about three square miles in area and has almost two miles of ocean beach. While much of the development in the city has been residential, with single-family homes accounting for most of the developed land areas, the city is nearing build-out with less than 10 percent of the incorporated land area being undeveloped.
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