PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Towards the end of November, Jay Trumbull Senior took ownership of the property formerly used by Greyhound.
The business has moved out off of Harrison Avenue in Panama City and set up a shop inside the Shell Gas Station at 7808 Panama City Beach Parkway.
Trumbull says the company had until May 15 to get out of the building but they found a spot early, clearing the location last month.
Trumbull is now looking to start his reviatalization of the property within the next 60 days.
“A medical provider is going to be here so we’re going to enclose this drive thru area and make it to be about 5,000 square feet,” Trumbull said.
He says the improvements actually won’t be as intensive as others think, as they are keeping the existing outside structure.
“No exterior walls will be torn down but all of the interior walls will be torn out but it’ll be a great improvement to the property for sure,” he said.
Trumbull also owns the building next to the former bus station, where Arcpoint Labs operates. He says in about a year or so, that property will also be updated.
“What we may do is move Arcpoint Labs into this building with him but the grand plan is to carry the same scheme that we do here that you see in the renderings to the building next door or in an ideal plan would be to have a commercial plan on the ground floor and residential on the top floor,” he said.
Those plans are still in the works but other local business owners say they’re excited for the new look coming to the area now that buses have officially rolled out.
“We’re excited about any kind of new business that comes to downtown. We’ve got the brewery that’s opening up soon and the Irish Pub and the farmer’s market that started out so there’s a lot of new things coming to downtown, we’re excited about that,” said The Little Mustard Seed owner, Greg Snow.
Not too far away, Fowhand Furniture sits less than a mile away from the bus station property. Store manager, Shelia Churchwell says they have already seen a change in foot traffic on the street since Greyhound stopped operating.
“I’m so glad that we’re not going to have all the transients coming in. They want to plop down on all the furniture and they go in the bathroom and them still whatever we have in our refrigerator. We feel bad for them and want them to have a nice, safe place but some of our customers were kind of scared,” said Churchwell.
Snow says they also have had a few issues with the travelers.
“They would come in to use the restroom and I’m okay with that but we had some fudge samples and they would always want to get the samples. They just weren’t going to be buying customers and I know everyone else is a buying customer but it was like they were kind of mooching off of that,” Snow said.
While she feels bad for those without a home, Churchwell says the change will enhance the downtown area.
“I think we need more upscale businesses and I think it’ll be a great improvement,” she said.
Overall, Trumbull says he’s just excited to bring positive to the area he and his family have been apart of for so long.
“We’ve been apart of this community for 60 years, my parents were here and we used to be located next door, my Culligan business did so we have a real interest in seeing Downtown improve. I think it has great potential,” he said.
Trumbull says the work on the bus station building should take three to four months to complete.