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A tropical paradise is in the works to come to PCB

Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 11:26 PM EDT
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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Back in July of 2019, officials broke ground on one 13-acre lot on Front Beach Road off Crane Street. That lot was going to be transformed into a Margaritaville Resort, something the residents of the Bid-a-Wee neighborhood were against.

“A resort I didn’t want. I didn’t want it here,” Randy Otwell said.

“Resort was very concerning, very concerning,” Claudia Himelick said.

Now, a new project will transport you to the Margaritaville state of mind in the form of residential living. This is the future area known as Panama City Beach Resort Margaritaville Cottages.

“It sounds like what they’ve proposed is going to be pretty nice,” Kim Clinkscales said.

Residents received a plat from the consulting firm Buchanan and Harper in April about the change of developments. We reached out to Buchanan and Harper officials, who say they aren’t authorized to speak on the project yet. We also reached out to the Premier Group developers on the project, we never heard back.

But many residents are relieved.

“I’m glad that it’s houses and that it’s not the condos. Well, I guess in a way it’ll be condos, but not the high rises,” said Otwell.

The plat says phase one will consist of 14 residences on pylons. This phase will be located on the Gulf side of Front Beach Road. A location that raises some concerns for residents.

“What concerns me is one of the things she said is, you know, is Bid-a-Wee going to be with them and open the beach up to them?” said Himelick.

Another common concern in paradise will be the newly added traffic.

“That’s something that I hope the city really will look at, because these streets don’t need that kind of traffic on them and we don’t need them in the neighborhood either,” Brenda Foreman said.

If you’re dropping your anchor in this new paradise on the beach, there’s one thing residents can agree on.

“That’s a lot of beautiful land and beach sitting there wasted,” said Otwell.

The plat says future phases will include 16 residential developments in the empty lot on the other side of Front Beach Road. Margaritaville Panama City Beach says there will also be a clubhouse with upscale amenities and an outdoor pool.

The plat show construction was anticipated to start in May and be completed within three months. Beach Public Information Officer Debbie Ward said the plat will still have to go before the city planning board.

Ward said the earliest date that could happen is July 14th and the earliest it could be put on the city council agenda is August 12th. City officials also declined to comment on the project.

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