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Opinions on the future of Panama City Beach? Upscale?

Discussion in 'Real Estate' started by Paula, May 17, 2005.

  1. Paula

    Paula Beach Fanatic

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    I'm curious. Given all the new upscale high rises and Pier Park plans, do you think Panama City Beach will actually become a more upscale beach (assuming you like high-rises)? How will it differ from Destin?

    What's the word on the west end of Panama City Beach (closest to 30A) which doesn't have high rises (yet?) and seems quite calm with some nice properties and developments.

    Because we're at Seacrest Beach, we tend to drive out toward Panama City Beach rather than Destin when necessary (e.g., to get a cheap donut or oysters) and we are growing fond of some of the "dives" for very casual dining (that may become extinct soon) and are curious about whether all those high rises will actually get filled.
     
  2. JB

    JB Beach Fanatic

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    If the airport deal goes through (others here can offer better opinions on it that me), then that would be the closest part of PCB to the new airport. It stands to reason it would be developed on a major scale within a very short period of time.
     
  3. RiverOtter

    RiverOtter got any pics?

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    Paula, this concerns me as well. We are also located in Seacrest (High Pointe). The highrises are inching their way closer and closer. Pretty soon you will be able to stand on the beach in Seacrest/Rosemary/Inlet and see the highrises very clearly. We too go to PCB more often then Destin because it's a much eaiser drive. I don't think it will become more upscale but I do think less seedy.
     
  4. Camp Creek Kid

    Camp Creek Kid Christini Zambini

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    There are major redevelopment plans for PCB, but as you can see with Pier Park, some things are going slowly. We are curious about how long it will take for someone to buy up all the trailers on the west end of the beach. All it would take is one strong hurricane . . .

    Things are changing, but most people in PCB like to drive to Destin to shop. One thing in PCB's favor is that there are 3 main roads (Front Beach, Middle Beach, Back Beach) instead of one like Destin. Traffic will never get as bad as in Destin. Things will change dramatically when the airport is approved. And, St. Joe still owns most of the land just north of Back Beach Rd. Its anyone's guess what their plans are.

    Personally, I welcome the growth in PCB, but we like the growth to stay in Bay County. Let us shop and eat there, but then let us come home to our SoWal!
     
  5. Paula

    Paula Beach Fanatic

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    It would be too bad to see more high rises closer to 30A. It seems like there are many communities at PCB that would have to be torn down for the high rises to take over -- and many of these communities seem pretty entrenched and not likely to get everyone in the community to sell out (but who knows?).

    I think the west end of Panama city beach looks quite nice now and is pleasant to drive through. I'll be staying at one of the communities for a few days this summer (a condo in the Horizon South community at the west end of Panama City Beach, I think) because our places at the Cottages at Camp Creek are booked with renters for a few days when we are there but we needed to stay for those two days to get cheaper plane tickets (we'll stay 5 days at the Cottages at Camp Creek and 2 days at Horizon South). So, it will be interesting to have first-hand experience in the area.

    It seems as though it would be good for 30A if PCB had a better reputation than it has had in the past (e.g., spring break mecca), especially for people who live closer to PCB than to Destin.

    As for the airport, will it make the drive to Seacrest beach shorter than the drive is from the current airport? Will the new airport make our beaches noiser with airplane noise?
     
  6. kurt

    kurt Admin Staff Member

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    The airport will be closer and an expressway will be built directly over the intracoastal to WaterSound North or near there. it will probably take 10 minutes to Seacrest. It's doubtful that any flight lines will cross SoWal.
     
  7. JB

    JB Beach Fanatic

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    Is the airport officially a done deal? Is there ANY chance the deal could fall through?
     
  8. kurt

    kurt Admin Staff Member

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    Final approval from the FAA is expected to be granted this Summer. I don't know the details but I think most of the work has been achieved for approval.
     
  9. kurt

    kurt Admin Staff Member

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    Panama City Beach is booming. I think it will be more like Gulf Shores than Destin, if there is a difference it's that Gulf Shores is bigger than Destin. All of Bay County is changing. I expect with the addition of the airport, it will become the largest city on the panhandle.
    The area North of Back Beach Road to the bay is mostly St. Joe property, as well as most of the property North of the bay. It will all be developed in a decades-long plan.
    Highway 79 will be 4-laned all the way to I-10 and will be filled in with golf course communities, office parks, light industrial and commercial parks, distribution centers.



    The possum festival in Wausau will be a major televised event.
     
  10. Paula

    Paula Beach Fanatic

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    Only 10 minute drive from the airport to Seacrest and no additional (or at least not much) noise over South Walton? I'm so happy. Now if the airfares would decrease from Detroit to Panama City once there's a full-size airport, I think I'll even sob with delight (airfares are often close to $400, and almost always over $300 -- we paid about $350 for tickets to come to S. Walton in July -- this is tough to do often with a family of 4 and with 2 kids to eventually put through college).

    Do you think it's worth investing in Panama City Beach property? (not that we can do so given we've already invested in S. Walton and, as I said, have a few kids to put through college someday and don't want to spend all of our time working).
     
  11. Camp Creek Kid

    Camp Creek Kid Christini Zambini

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    Paula, school must be out in Ann Arbor because somone is posting a lot more these last few days :D . Lets just say that I know the builder of your cottages VERY well and I live IN the neighborhood. The cottages have more than doubled in price f.y.i.

    Many people are having success investing in PCB and prices are comparatively low. PCB investors think they're in the money until they see us here in SoWal. However, I'd avoid the high rises because there is the question of oversaturation of the market.

    Things will go crazy in PCB especially between the county line and Hwy 79, and then up Hwy 79 to Ebro. But, you've got two little cottages with beach access so don't over extend yourself!! You won't be able to replace what you've got now.
     
  12. Paula

    Paula Beach Fanatic

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    Thanks, neighbor. Are you in the Cottages at Camp Creek, too? Special little community, isn't it. I have two daughters and the hope (in an ideal world, of course) is to hold on to the cottages and just pass them on to the girls some day (hoping that they'll keep at least one). The cottages are family get-together places for us and our extended family/friends right now (as well as vacation rentals) so we're building some wonderful memories these days at the cottages (and we have great neighbors in this friendly community which is a big part of why we like it so much here).

    Yes, school is out for the summer (I teach at the University of Michigan) so I have more time to spend on Graytonbeach.com (and ebay...). But I teach all year round because everyone is calmer in spring/summer (so it's nice to teach when everyone is calm rather than stressed) and it also leaves me more long weekends to come south in the cold fall/winter months. I'd like to learn how to teach a few courses online and that would give even more flexibility... hmmm, teach from the beach when the kids are grown.

    I know the cottages have increased significantly in value (as has everything else in S. Walton), but I don't really know how much they've increased. We bought one in April 2003 and then the other in February 2004. But, again, the value will matter more to our girls than to us someday. I do look at real estate listings out of curiosity now and then to see comparable properties. When we had our cottages inspected before buying them, one inspector said they were very well built which is good for our builder to know (I told him this).

    Anyway, thanks for the PCB information and advice!
     
  13. kurt

    kurt Admin Staff Member

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    I was on the strip in pCB today, and each time it amazes me to see all the little old hotels boarded up and new development signs in front of them.

    I wanted to add that some of these new condos are monster developments, with restaurants, pools, waterslides, shopping, etc. A resort type deal with everything in one place.
     
  14. GraytonBound

    GraytonBound Beach Fanatic

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    In your opinion, are these "monster developments" a good investment or not? Seems like they would rent well; wonder about resale?
     
  15. kurt

    kurt Admin Staff Member

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    It seems like a good idea since families these days seem to like the large experience. Vegas, theme parks, Disney, cruise - cramming it all in for a few days or week. Should be a lot of repeat business too. I don't have any facts but I imagine that a lot of associated businesses will pile on. Like waterparks, golf courses, cruises, fish and boat charters, and of course shops and restaurants.

    I don't have a short term opinion because I don't have enough info about prices, what's being built, etc.

    Long-term should be good. I'd take a close look at who designed it, who's building it, size, details, location, etc.
     

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