PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) – The St. Joe Company has just announced its newest residential project, a 1,600 home community off Highway 79.

The Ward Creek neighborhood will be located a mile north of Back Beach Road in Panama City Beach.

St. Joe Company Residential Real Estate Senior Vice President Bridget Precise said the site work is already underway for the first phase of houses.

“We are planning for a mix of homes,” Precise said. “It will be townhomes, as well as single-family detached homes on various lot sizes.”

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Precise said she hopes the community will appeal to a variety of potential residents. 

They hope surrounding attractions like Pier Park and the soon-to-be-built Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare Campus will be big draws.

“So it seemed like a good fit for medical practitioners housing for those folks and then just the other people who are relocating to the area,” Precise said.

Although the homes will be built in unincorporated Bay County, they will use Panama City Beach utilities.

Panama City Beach Council Member Geoff McConnell said the permits have already been submitted and they are ready to take that on.

“It’s going to impact our infrastructure systems and we are all planning for that and starting to account for that now,” McConnell said. “We are trying to get ahead of that as we go along.”

As for the added traffic on the roads, McConnell said the state is in the design phases for the six-lane of Back Beach Road. 

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He hopes that the necessary project will alleviate the added congestion. 

McConnell said the continued interest in developing Panama City Beach just shows how much potential the area has.  

“This speaks volumes for Bay County and Panama City Beach and the beautiful beaches that we have, and our culture so that families can come here work from anywhere and still enjoy our beautiful beaches,” McConnell said.

The St. Joe Company officials said the sites for the first 205 single-family homes and 150 townhomes will be ready this summer.

The builders will set the home prices.