Exciting Changes Coming To PCB!

As we enjoy fantastic views from the new piers in Panama City Beach or take in a day of fun at Pier Park, it can seem like those things have just been here forever.  But anyone that has lived here for more than eight years remembers a landscape that looked very different.

Change can take time.  And when you are talking about major construction, you usually measure in months and years not days.  Big developments are planned years in advance of construction so knowing about these projects are approved can give you a glimpse into the future.

Some major announcements were just made in Panama City Beach that will very likely affect everything about where we live, work and play...and it's ALL exciting stuff!

1. "World-Class Sports Park" Approved - The Bay County Commission voted to approve a land use change that would allow for the building of a world-class sports park, new elementary and middle schools, over 1,700 single-family dwellings, 400+ multi-family residential units, up to 750 hotel rooms, 7,500 square feet of office use, 160,000 square feet of commercial and a new fire station.

Plans are to have the first phase of the sports park open and operational in 2018, making way for an exciting transformation of the east end of the beach.

Read more about plans for the new sports park

2. "Pier Park East" Plans In The Works? - The St. Joe Company (St. Joe) has heavily invested in northwest Florida real estate for years, and it seems that they may now have the pedal to the metal.  St. Joe is part of the public-private partnership that is bringing the sports park, schools and development to PCB and also recently purchased two of the holes at the Hombre' golf course.

The golf course purchase might sound a little odd, but there may be a method to the madness of this seemingly odd purchase.  St. Joe already owned 20+ acres with frontage on Richard Jackson and with the acquisition of the two golf holes (approx 15 acres), they now own frontage on Panama City Beach Parkway.

This new land purchase the door to strong new commercial development just a few miles from the new sports park and planned residential communities.  Nothing formal has been announced but the familiar signs stating that "commercial opportunities available" have already been erected.

3. Hombre Has A New Owner - Even more bold steps were made recently when George Roberts purchased the Hombre Golf Course.  I understand that he plans on maintaining the integrity of the original design while making substantial improvements. 

Jerry Pate's (PGA golfer) design team has been brought in to consult on the project, and massive change is already under way.  Most of the improvements involve expanding existing retention ponds, removing trees that were suffocating the golf course and building a large mound behind #18 to create a stadium feel, reminiscent of modern golf design.  As a golfer, I can't wait to see the end product!

4.  PCB Named #1 Place To Invest -  Rented.com just released their "2016 Short Term Rental Income Report," ranking 125 cities, grading them JUST on ROI (return on investment).

Panama City Beach ranked #1 on the list!

 5. CRA

Construction is finally set to start on the next phase of the massive CRA (Community Redevelopment Agency) project on Front Beach Road.  The stretch from South Thomas Drive near The Shores of Panama to 500 feet west of Richard Jackson Blvd, will see significant improvements similar to those that already exist on South Thomas Drive.

Transportation, parking and beach access improvements are all part of the plan along with important beautification elements.  PCB City Manager, Mario Gisbert, hopes that the abandoned city-owned golf course is one of the issues to be addressed by the construction company.  The elevated eye-sore is going to be part of the stormwater plan of this next phase of the project.

You can read more about the CRA HERE.

The Simon Property Group changed the landscape of the west end of Panama City Beach when they built Pier Park, and now it looks like big changes are coming to the east end...I can't wait to see the finished product!