PANAMA CITY BEACH — A new shopping center is around the corner for the Panama City Beach area, and Mike Kerrigan, spokesman for the St. Joe Co., says it will complement both Latitude Margaritaville Watersound and the Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport.
Set to be located off U.S. 79, adjacent to the sales center of the Jimmy-Buffett-themed community for those 55 years old and older, the shopping center is being developed by St. Joe and will boast several mixed-use buildings designed for retail shops, a grocery store, pharmacy and restaurant, Kerrigan said.
He noted that the major land development company announced the project Jan. 11.
"Site work is going on ... currently — it started within the last month — and we plan to go vertical with construction in the fall of this year," Kerrigan said. "It will be built in phases. (The pace) will be market driven, (and) we'll continue to build out spaces as we see the tenant demand over time, so (there) is no time table on (construction) right now."
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However, he said that with the current pace of home sales in the Latitude community, and the fact that the shopping center will be located near the booming Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport, St. Joe expects demand for the project will be high.
Latitude began welcoming residents toward the end of last year. The first wave of development will include 3,500 homes, which range from about 1,200 square feet to more than 2,500 square feet.
As these new residents flocked to the area, the airport experienced unmatched success, shattering its previous annual passenger record from 2019 in just the first 10 months of 2021.
"With the growth of the airport, (and) the residential growth around that area ... and the fact that Highway 79 is such a main artery for people who work on the beach or come to vacation on the beach, we think (the shopping center) is going to be a great asset to complement the other shopping opportunities that are available (in the area) and provide some new shopping and dining opportunities north of the bay," Kerrigan said.
This article originally appeared on The News Herald: Panama City Beach Florida getting new shopping center