Marina Project Update; Tentative Dates for Construction - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Marina Project Update; Tentative Dates for Construction

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It's finally coming to a head, the Marina Project including future plans for a lighthouse will be undergoing construction as early as this Spring.

"If all goes well in April, you'll see a bulldozer on sight," said William Whitson, Panama City CRA Director. "And we will start moving some dirt and get this thing going."

But Panama City has had this in the works for years.

"This is something that has been in the makings for ten, fifteen, maybe even as far back as twenty years," said Whitson. "There has been discussions about what to do with the marina."

With it's new look, Panama City will be tasked with re-branding itself, providing what Whitson hopes will be an open door for investments.

"People will want to come and be near these amenities," said Whitson. "They will want to live near them, they will want to build businesses near them, and I think it will have a great impact on the years to come."

The three phases will go in sequence from smallest to largest depending on construction commitment. If all goes as planned in providing finances for the project and bidding construction phases  a groundbreaking will be held in March. Then, work will be done on the civic plaza. After that, construction will be done to restore the sea wall. Last, will be the marina park, which includes plans for a lighthouse, splash pad, and community buildings.

"And that will probably start construction in September time frame," said Whitson.

"And a lighthouse is always an attraction in any area and we are really excited about it," said Jane Lindsey, a downtown business owner.

For Lindsey, the Marina Project will be bring big hopes for the future. One that is right around the corner.

"We are really excited about everything that's going on down at the marina," said Lindsey. "We know that it will bring more traffic downtown and it will be a real feature point for our area here."

"The project wont be perfect," said Whitson. "But, I think the overwhelming sentiment is 'lets go, lets do something, the time is now to reinvent our community' and people are excited about doing that."

Whitson did say that any major construction will take place after the 4th of July to avoid any conflict with the traditional celebration at the Marina.