Big changes are in store for Panama City, as city commissioners approved a request from a major retail developer at Tuesday’s Commission meeting.
“I’m really excited that we’re going to take a piece of property that’s as big as is it, that’s been sitting dormant for so long, and these people are serious about doing something with it,” said Panama City Mayor Greg Brudnicki.
The 35 acre property is located at the corner of 23rd Street and Highway 77. The developer, Ledbetter Properties, LLC, presented the commission with a preliminary site plan which detailed how they want to turn the property into a “retail epicenter.”
“This is a large retail development. We haven’t had anything this large built as strictly retail development, since the mall was build back in the 70’s,” said Brudnicki.
The retail space will be named Bay City Point, and will be full of new and different businesses.
“We’ve been getting our butt kicked by the beach and by Lynn Haven, and I know that’s within the county, but the city has suffered from some of that flight. Well, this is going to bring some new things back into the city and so it’s pretty exciting,” said Brudnicki.
The developer estimates this project will create over 800 jobs and bring the city around $55 million in capital investment during all phases of the development.
“Many of these materials will be bought in this area and region, further adding and injecting sales tax revenues, other revenues, and further strengthening the local and regional economy,” said Ledbetter Properties, LLC Chief Operating Officer E. Wright Ledbetter.
“See you guys see the same things I think we see when we look at everything that’s going on. We’ve had several organizations come in and be willing to lay down their own money and i thank you for that,” said Panama City Commissioner John Kady.
This project is expected to have a significant impact on the city’s economy. Construction is set to begin at the beginning of next year.