City Hall and the downtown library sit on a parking lot with a waterfront view on the Panama City Marina.
Developer Bob Blackerby has his eyes on the site for an upscale condominium project he calls 1 Harrison Avenue, with public access still available to the water.
"The portion the public is presently using is a four-foot sidewalk where they do fishing, cast netting, watch the sun go down, we want to turn that into a 25-foot promenade where you can go down and relax and enjoy."
In exchange, Blackerby would swap the property on Johnson Bayou and help construct a new city hall and a public park.
"There have been several facts about our project that have been totally untrue, totally untrue. We don't have the money to go out and fight them. They've got more money than we've got."
He says the public support is there, but there are a few key people influencing the decisions made.
"I will tell you we got a five to zero vote at the city and a four to one vote at the county. There was no major uprising. The uprising came a couple weeks later after a couple phone calls. That wasn't from the public, that was from one of the good ol' boys and that's who we're fighting now, and I don't have the money to fight him, so if I don't have the public's help, I won't win this fight."
And winning the fight is exactly what Blackerby says he intends to see happen. Visual displays of the projects are set up at the downtown library, the mall and the downtown improvement board on Harrison Avenue.
For more information, go to the project website at www.pcdowntownproject.com.