PANAMA CITY BEACH Fla. (WMBB) – The Pier Park area is already a huge draw for tourism, but Panama City Beach officials say there is potential for more.
The city council is brainstorming with local developer, William Harrison and team, to create a park space and restaurant on the waterfront property.
“This is a very important piece of waterfront property for the city,” said Harrison. “Not only in location but for the potential that is available.”
Once the plans are approved, they hope this could be the new hub of Panama City Beach.
They proposed extending the existing boardwalk attached to the city pier to grow the heart of the city.
Panama City Beach Council Member Geoff McConnel said this is important for the city’s growth.
“Where they want to come and take pictures, where it is the signature piece of Panama City Beach,” McConnell said. “And also to have something that’s of high end and high quality to bring in some good revenue.”
Ideas include a family-friendly green space, dog park, splash pad, and rooftop restaurant.
The restaurant would replace the current tenant’s Hook’d Bar and Grill.
Thursday, beach city council members extended Hook’d lease for one more year until the plans are set.
“We don’t have a downtown, that’s the area we have around the pier area,” McConnell said. “So to get that developed and have it be an aesthetic that’s very very good and blends in well with that area is very important.”
Before everything is made official the developers plan to meet with residents to get their thoughts.
“You want to make sure your residents have input to anything you are doing,” McConnell said. “That’s why we hold all our public meetings for any development, that’s why we hold town halls.”
City council members say they plan to hold community charrettes for this project in January.
Again, these are all just ideas as of right now. Panama City Beach officials say they hope to finalize the plans within the next year.