Good news for the Bay County economy, a project that was put on hold a few years ago is back on track. The Panama City Port Authority broke ground on Friday on a distribution warehouse. The facility will be used to help companies import and export their products while keeping jobs right here at home.
Mayor Greg Brudnicki says at least half of the project's funding will be spent on local companies and people. They've been hired to construct this $150,000 square foot distribution warehouse, north off highway 231.
Friday's ground breaking was exciting for business leaders who say this can generate more business for our area. The $6 million ‘state-of-the-art' facility will be equipped with up to 40 loading docks and there's room for expansion.
An additional 100,000 square feet of space is still available. Port Panama City Executive Director, Wayne Stubbs says the property was prepared about three years ago, but plans were delayed because of slow economic growth.
"The Port Authority stepped up and we were able to get long term financing from the state infrastructure bank and with a little bit of grant money, we decided to fill the void and build it ourselves to make it available to our customers." Stubbs says.
"Having it available with the proximity that it is to the major highways and stuff, gives us something to know that there are people out there looking and that here it is." Mayor Greg Brudnicki says.
The mayor says this opportunity also fills a void for Panama City; 10 years ago, the city ran water and sewer lines to the facility, in anticipation for growth. The tilt-up design warehouse is scheduled for completion in July of 2013.