Big Developments In and Around South Walton

October 22, 2013 by Stephen C. Counts

Northwest Florida was one of the hardest hit regions in Florida during the most recent recession. As a result, it is has been one of the most opportunistic regions coming out of the recession. The area has fundamentals that support significant growth and yield over the next twenty years. The area relies heavily on defense, construction, and tourism. Construction and tourism took a substantial hit over the past few years, but have hit record numbers this year. The lower cost of living and real estate, along with the tax incentives offered by the state, have caught the eye of several businesses looking to expand within Northwest Florida or relocate to the area. There are several new developments to be delivered in 2013 and 2014. Below is a quick description of a select few.

Pier Park North, Panama City Beach The St. Joe Company, CASTO, and Strategic Retail Partners have begun construction for their joint venture project labeled Pier Park North, a 370,000 square foot power center. The development will be located directly north of the existing Pier Park Lifestyle Center owned and operated by Simon Property Group. We were able to meet with Jeff O’ Loughlin of SRA, at the most recent ICSC Florida convention, in Orlando, FL. Jeff indicated they have had a tremendous response from retailers and have most all of the large, medium, and pad spaces spoken for, or in negotiation. Below is a site plan and visual of signed up tenants and tenants currently under negotiation.

Sweetbay, Panama City The St. Andrew Bay Land Company recently received approval in March 2013, to develop 3,000 homes and create 700,000 square feet of commercial space, over the next 30 years. The project is predicted to bring hundreds of jobs to the area. The project will be located on the old Panama City Airport land and the former airport building is currently being converted to a charter school. The project will be the largest development to occur in the area to date.

Villages Concept, Panama City Beach Talk of what could be the largest development to ever occur in Northwest Florida is in the early stages. One of the largest land owners in Northwest Florida is considering a development that would be similar to “The Villages” master planned development in Central Florida. The development would be located on the border of Bay County and Walton County. It will be part of a 30 year plan and combine residential and commercial, within close proximity to the Gulf.

The Villages is a master planned age-restricted community in Central Florida. A 2008 Census ranked The Villages the No. 1 fastest growing micropolitan area in the United States. The Development has 39 golf courses, as well as abundance of recreational centers, retail, and restaurants.


30Avenue, Inlet Beach  Currently under construction to the northeast of Rosemary Beach and adjacent to the new Donut Hole Restaurant is 30Avenue. The property will consist of 77,058 square feet of retail, 42,549 square feet of office, and 10,055 square feet of residential. The project will benefit from a very busy location at the intersection of Highway 98 and 30A. The 16 acre mixed use village center, with brick-paved streets and open green spaces will promote an atmosphere friendly to walkers, bikers, and people watching. The overall development style will consist of one and two story buildings constructed of white stucco and dressed with black shutters, awnings, and balconies. 30Avenue will cater to anyone looking to shop, dine, live, work, or be entertained in Northwest Florida.


South Walton Hotels, Rosemary Beach  The Pearl, a 55- room luxury hotel in the middle of Rosemary Beach, opened this year. The hotel features two upscale restaurants. Havana Beach features a menu influenced by Caribbean, Mexican, and New Orleans themes. The second restaurant is So Luna, which is the hotel’s rooftop bar and restaurant that will overlook the Gulf.

The Inn on the Gulf (top photo) will be a 125-room limited lodging concept hotel located just east of Rosemary Beach. The ownership group purchased just under 6 Acres for the development earlier this year. The hotel will feature two upscale restaurants totaling 7,000 SF. 

The above is an excerpt from Commercial Property Advisor | Northwest Florida Update. Continue reading this article for more on Tallahassee / College Town developments. _____________________
Article provided by McCall Counts Commercial Property & Investment Publication FALL 2013. Commercial Property Advisor is published  three times annually by McCall Counts Commercial. 
The Fall 2013 issue is a Northwest Florida Update and includes:

  • Rising Interest Rates and the impact on investors
  • Featured Listings
  • Why you should use a Tenant Representative
  • Northwest Florida Update, Catch up on some of the new developments in Northwest Florida

Read Commercial Property Advisor Fall 2013 in its entirety.

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The McCall Counts Commercial Group of Counts Real Estate, founded by Chris McCall and Stephen Counts, is the leading commercial real estate group in the region. 

Learn more at SoWal Real Estate Guide | McCall Counts.


Stephen C. Counts's picture

Stephen C. Counts is a third generation Florida real estate broker. During his career, has been instrumental in the valuation, consulting, and brokerage of more than $550 million in commercial properties, mainly located throughout the southeast.

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