LYNN HAVEN, Fla. — The City of Lynn Haven purchased 247 acres of land holding a World War II-era fuel depot for $2.45 million in the summer of 2017 from the United States Air Force.
Then, Lynn Haven officials partnered with a developer to create a major addition to the community, potentially adding growth and jobs to the city. However, construction has yet to begin on the property.
Lynn Haven Mayor Margo Anderson believes the plans may continue to stall until the contract’s “no-flip” clause expires.
“There is a flip clause, which prevents the developer from just buying it and selling it immediately without a cash penalty,” Anderson said. “I’m predicting once we get to the end of that three year period, that we’ll probably see the developer sell this property. I certainly don’t know that for sure. But, I would look forward to someone purchasing it and making it as beautiful as had been planned in the past.”
The plans were to develop the land into what Anderson called, a “live, work, eat, play community” named the Lynn Haven Marina Island. The community was expected to have housing, restaurants, businesses and draw tourism.
News 13 obtained email records showing developer Andy Bales of Marina Island LLC has emailed with city officials about phase one of the project as recently as June 24.
When News 13 was able to reach Bales for a comment, he said they are “full-steam ahead” on the project.
Although no ground has been broken on the property yet, Anderson said the city is still benefitting from the project in some way.
“This property did belong to the Air Force before, and was not really beneficial to Lynn Haven,” Anderson said. “At least at this point, even though the developer has not really gone forward with the plans he promised, he is paying taxes to the City of Lynn Haven, so we are benefiting from that.”
The no-flip clause will run out in approximately one year, but Bales has said Marina Island LLC is in the stages of finalizing their phase one plans and will look to submit them in about two month’s time.