We're getting a clearer picture of the future of Panama City's marina improvement project. After crunching the numbers at last night's commission meeting, the city is giving a glimpse of what the park may actually look like.
The Panama City marina project is causing some buzz in the city.
"It helps our sales, it helps our slip rentals, so yeah I'm excited about it," PC Marina Director Bill Lloyd said. "To do those things that make it better, how can it do anything but help?"
Improvements include the addition of a park and plaza area to the marina that will feature a welcome center, an interactive splash pad, an amphitheater, and a possible lighthouse, among other features.
"It's going to be an exciting, vibrant place and we're trying out best to put pen to paper and make the design exactly right," Community Redevelopment Agency Director William Whitson said.
Whitson says the marina is a key piece in the areas overall economic plan.
"The marina is our front door, it's our home, and we want to improve it and help it last for generations to come," Whitson said.
Resident John Starling understands the importance of creating that longevity
"My grandfather bought some stores downtown back when they were new," Starling said. "Now we have a hard time renting them because people have nowhere to go."
He says the project, which sports a $5.5 million dollar price tag is money well spent
"If we're not investing in our economy, we're not making investments to bring people down here to spend money, and then our economy is going to continue to falter," Starling said. "Failing to plan is planning to fail, it's very simple."
The marina park and plaza project and the seawall improvement projects together will cost between 12 and 13 million dollars. The city is currently looking into their funding options.