Panama City Marina Looks At PreConstruction

The marina in downtown Panama City has not yet reached its full potential, according to several local officials. While there is always a stream of developers, it isn't that simple.
 The question that looms large is, how can the city attract business after an overhaul or addition? How can developers or investors manage their expectations with regard to Downtown Panama City Marina?

For now, the most pertinent aspect of the project is how best to implement improvements. Any updates to the Panama City marina will most likely improve downtown Panama itself by extension, making any efforts related to the marina a broader endeavor overall. Officials have debated this question for years; so long, in fact, that many officials have revisited it.

A Long Time Coming

Panama City finally decided to start on the marina project back in 2011, during which time the state retained the deed to the marina. This factor meant that the scope of the project could be somewhat limited even if a consensus was reached. It could perhaps be a park at most, and one without a commercial license. Still, the folks in charge wanted to make the best of it and drew up some conceptual ideas by 2012. These plans featured such things as a splash pad and a lighthouse, and the planting of several new trees to beautify the space.
However, the developers revealed the concepts around the same time that the legal counsel for Panama City began to ask themselves whether the state should even have the deed to the marina. Ultimately, they chose to take the matter to the courts. They won their case, which meant that the city took over control of the deed. This effectively changed the landscape of the project and a number of possibilities related to it. Suddenly, uses both commercial and residential were no longer out of the question.
The commission chose to open up the project to bidding. Developers had carte blanche aside from the one condition that the project must in some way drive economics in the city, as the city planned during construction.

Feasibility Studies

Panama City's feasibility study phase is going on right now, and feasibility phases are typically the "make it or break it" steps in a project. The commission returned a unanimous vote in favor of continuing the redevelopment project at this time.
Should the studies render positive results, the city--acting as a landlord for the marina--will begin to iron out the finer points of the deal.
Currently, the developer plans to make the area a space conducive to tourism, including new hotels, a civic center, apartments, fishing, and some retail space.
A variety of developers believe the space is not living up to what it could be and have said as much to city officials. Only time will tell if a viable solution is here; Panama City has to compete with Panama Beach for tourists. With the many attractions such as Pier Park, Panama City Beach condos, state parks, and the like, Panama City Beach currently has the advantage.

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