Eastpoint Neighborhood and Community Information
Eastpoint is not as well-known as neighboring Apalachicola and St. George Island. It is nevertheless a quiet rural community tucked into the woodlands surrounded by marshlands and water on three sides. The waters adjacent to Eastpoint are (1) East Bay (west of Eastpoint), (2) Apalachicola Bay (southwest of Eastpoint), and (3) St. George Sound (southeast of Eastpoint). The origins of the community's name are really very basic. Geographically it is on the "eastern point" of a peninsula. It is also situated due east of Apalachicola.
Eastpoint residents and owners of seafood businesses consider their community to be the heart of the oystering industry. The roads in Eastpoint are busy a couple of times each day with trailered oyster boats heading out or returning home. The community has recently erected signs at the East and West entrances to the town proudly announcing their status as home for World Famous oysters since 1898. Many Eastpoint natives and longtime residents have deep roots in the seafood industry, mainly oystering. They are especially proud of this part of their family heritage. The seafood industry is Eastpoint's main form of commerce. The waterfront has seafood restaurants and wholesale and retail seafood businesses. Apalachicola Bay oysters (harvested by Eastpoint oystermen) are considered by many to be the best oysters in the world. Oysters are shipped nationwide and local events celebrate oysters.
Eastpoint has not grown or developed to a large extent because of the collapse of the real estate and financial markets in 2008. Additionally, the Federal and State governments own approximately 70% of Franklin County. This ensures that Franklin County will remain undeveloped and natural. The nick-name Forgotten Coast is not completely accurate. The area was not forgotten at all. It was recognized for the natural treasure it is. Federal, State, and County governments have taken steps to make sure it remains unspoiled and pristine. Development is closely monitored.
In 1935 the first bridge connecting Apalachicola to Eastpoint was constructed. The bridge was named for John Gorrie, inventor of the ice machine (which was a 1st step towards refrigerated air and air-conditioning. (A small State park [with a museum and his grave] is located on 5th Street in Apalachicola). The original Gorrie Bridge was replaced with a new structure in 1988. The metal portions of the bridge are repainted every 8 - 10 years. It was last painted in the fall of 2013.
A two lane bridge (state maintained) extends 4 miles across the Apalachicola Bay from Cat Point (in Eastpoint) to St. George Island. The original bridge built in 1965 was referred to as the "two dollar bridge" because of the $2.00 crossing toll. That bridge was replaced in 2003 with the current structure built just west of the original site. The remaining portions of the abandoned bridge are used as fishing piers on the Eastpoint and St. George Island sides of the bay. A section of abandoned roadbed has been preserved as a bird sanctuary and is referred to by locals as "bird island". Native and migrating birds use the island for nesting. Bird island is off limits to people. The water surrounding bird island is a popular and productive area for commercial oystering and recreational fishing.
County zoning codes limit total overall building height to no more than 47' from natural grade to roof apex. This applies to residences on slab built to grade as well as those on pilings. Lots range in size from approximately 1/2 - 1+ acre. Many bay front lots are larger. Several neighborhoods in Eastpoint have architectural control boards and restrictive covenants governing home construction, upkeep, and terms of occupancy.
County approved development began in several neighborhoods during 2000-2004. Several of these areas never fully developed although the infrastructure was put into place. In several neighborhoods property values have dropped greatly since 2004. This is beginning to turn around ever so slightly. There are many real estate opportunities with potential for long term gain. Eastpoint offers a lifestyle unlike anything else on the Forgotten Coast. It is not likely to change. Quiet, inexpensive, and off the beaten path, it provides an opportunity to "get off the grid" for those looking to relocate permanently or own a second home.
Like the rest of the Forgotten Coast, you find primarily single family homes in Eastpoint. No high rises, condos, or hotels. Local building codes cap building height at 47'. While Eastpoint is not a destination location it sits directly on the coast and is very appealing to many. Its working waterfront employs seafood workers year around. During the hay day of the last real estate boom several businesses opened providing shopping opportunities not previously available without driving to Tallahassee or Panama City. You can find what you need - but not always what you want. Eastpoint like Apalachicola still has no movie theatre, high-end grocery store, or fast food (except the Burger King in Apalachicola). You'll need to drive at least 65 miles for a fast food fix. There is never a problem finding bait or tackle. Many Franklin County residents find life here well worth the minor inconveniences and very doable. For locals and transplants, Eastpoint offers affordable housing and quality of life not found elsewhere along the Gulf coast.
This document was reviewed and updated January 2016 by Michael Billings, licensed REALTOR. Information is deemed accurate and current. Any and all mistakes, oversights, or omissions are unintentional. This document is not an all-inclusive review of building and zoning requirements or limitations and should not be relied upon as such. Franklin County building codes are viewable elsewhere on this website by hyperlink. Prospective buyers should seek the professional advice of a Florida licensed REALTOR and/or an attorney before entering into a Contract for Sale and Purchase of Real Property. .