After debating the fate of the Panama City Marina for years, the city is now one step closer to making a decision on the final marina redevelopment plan.
Bob Sonnenblick, the architect behind the redevelopment of the marina has presented the latest version of his master plan after listening to the concerns of the city and community members.
“We want to open this up and make it much more of a public oriented marina,” said Marina Developer, Bob Sonnenblick.
Sonnenblick says his master plan would mean more green spaces in the marina and 150,000 square feet of potential retail space, but this plan is getting mixed reviews.
“Almost everyone in this group has stated that they are more than willing to go along with development it’s just that do we really need 600,000 square feet? And you know retail is kind of on the decline,” said Panama City Resident, Craig Zar.
Those against the current plan want a change, just not the change being suggested. Individuals with “Save the Marina” say this development plan would ruin the marina and would be out of place in this area. Others, however, are in favor of what it brings to downtown
“The careful and thoughtful remodification of our downtown waterfront area will create a positive and direct economic impact for our existing business community,” said Nicholas Beninate, Chairman of the Panama City Downtown Improvement Board.
The next meeting regarding the marina will be September 26th at 6pm where more public comment will be heard. At the next meeting,the commission will vote on moving the due date of Sonnenblick development’s letters of intent.
The storm delayed the original date of the presentation and the plan is to change the date from October 1st to the 15th since the original date for the project presentation was pushed back.