PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — The Duplin Winery in Panama City Beach is making some major progress.
Owners said they’re ahead of schedule.
A few residents are afraid of what could be coming in addition to the winery.
Several of The Glades community residents in Panama City Beach moved to the area because it was so close to the old Hombre Golf Course.
The owner closed the course after Hurricane Michael heavily damaged it.
Now, a 54-foot tall building is taking its place — the Duplin Winery.
“I do not object to it. Obviously, I’d rather have the golf course before that,” Duplin Winery neighbor David Bullerdick said. “The winery had nothing to do with the demise of the golf course. My major concern right now is if they add apartment buildings or condos behind that.”
Bullerdick and many of his neighbors fear neighborhood traffic will worsen if an apartment complex is built.
Duplin Winery Co-Owner Jonathan Fussell said they’re trying their best to be good neighbors.
“I’ve had a lot of people to approach us,” Fussell said. “One of them being an apartment complex but we have not sold anything or done anything at this time.”
Fussell said this isn’t the first time the surrounding neighborhood has raised its eyebrows at this new development.
But he assures the community most people end up loving it.
“The first time I met my wife she didn’t like me either,” Fussell said. “It took time and we became friends and I hope that’s the exact same thing that happens in Panama City Beach.”
While the winery could be finished by mid-December, Fussell’s goal is to open by mid-January.
Winery officials believe they will attract close to half a million people in the first year of operation.