A New Future for Mexico Beach Parker House - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

A New Future for Mexico Beach Parker House

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The fate of the historic Parker House in Mexico Beach is becoming clearer; a new future is in the works.

Structural problems with the buildings foundation have caused the city to rework plans with the insurance company.

The first mayor of Mexico Beach, Charlie Parker, lived there for many years.

In 2011, the city purchased the Parker House with hopes to preserve the history.

"Really, there is no other historical structures here," said Chris Hubbard, City Administrator. "It was unfortunate what happened, but now we are trying to make the best of a bad situation."

Before the city ever moved in, the house caught fire and the future of the property has been up in the air ever since.

They had plans to demolish the space right away, but when the work got started they discovered issues with the foundation.

"We contacted the insurance company, they said we agree with you it needs to be torn down.. then when all the site work was calculated into the total cost they the insurance company wanted to go back then and say that's to much money."

The council got a structural analysis done on the property, by Nova Engineering and Environmental. The report confirmed the costly problems. Representatives from the council took the information to a meeting with the insurance company.

"According to them, they are 98% ready to sign off on the additional cost for the pile foundation which is recommended for the property. They are also looking at some of the additional work cost. They had to do some more research on that subject. We should hear back from them sometime this week."

If the extra costs are approved, the plans are to turn the site into a city hall fit for the beach.

 "From what we have heard, when we go to rebuild, they didn't want an office building. They wanted something that looked like it belonged on the beach and that's what we have done with our new plans."

The home has rich community history, but the dilapidated condition has created an eyesore.

"The citizens, the city council, and myself, for sure, we are ready to move forward and now we are coming to the end of that process and that's generating a little buzz around town."

If the insurance estimate gives the final approval for the foundation sometime soon, Hubbard says the design-build team will be ready start work. If everything goes as planned, the existing structure could be demolished before the Christmas holiday.