PORT ST. JOE, Fla (WMBB) — If you’re eager to use the new Port St. Joe dry storage facility, you won’t have to wait much longer.
Hurricane Michael destroyed the old marina facility in 2018.
Since then, the St. Joe Company has been working hard to create and build a new facility that will accommodate the extensive boating community across the panhandle.
“We wanted to be an anchor point for the bay here, for Gulf County, and we want to create a string of marinas here in the Panhandle that will allow each community to really have a place that they can return home to at the end of the day,” Port St. Joe Marina General Manager Preston Sutter said.
The new marina will be 63,000 square feet with 252 dry boat slips up to 45 feet in length.
While boat owners are able to store their boats at the new marina, Sutter said the facility will also have a lot of other amenities.
“We are going to have an incredible ship store that will merchandise hats and stuff,” Sutter said. “We want to be able to have anything you need for a day on the water.”
The ship store will carry boating essentials, but it is designed to complement the rest of the Port St. Joe retail community.
“The big thing that we really wanna do is become an addition to the community. So, ya know, we aren’t gonna have everything you need to buy,” Sutter said. “We want you to be down on Reed Avenue, ya know, grabbing dinner, grabbing breakfast before you get on the water. We want to push people to local shops that will allow them can get what they need for their boat or a hat or sunscreen or whatever. We are going to have a few of those things in our store.”
Sutter said the marina is set up to accommodate boaters for as little or as long as needed, whether they are residents or just tourists passing through.
“We want to create long relationships with the clients we are serving so we are really excited to start getting the boats here. And I’ve been just chomping at the bit to get this thing operational so that we can start forging those relationships with locals and tourists that are in town for a time,” Sutter said.
He said this time of year makes him eager to get the dry storage facility up and running for the Gulf County community.
“We’ve got, ya know, hardcore fisherman chasing tarpon and redfish in the bay, Sutter said. “We’ve got scallopers this time of year that are coming from all over to shallow water snorkel with their families.”
Sutter said the barn is about 90 percent complete.
“I hope we will be able to have somebody in their boat, stored in our barn, forked out of the barn, put in the water, and filled full of ice and fuel sometime around the first of the year. So we will be jamming and ready to go by next season,” Sutter said.