Condo Fever

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Downtown Panama City is moving up and following the beach example with plans for two more condominium projects moving in.

Investor Jack Fiorella says he's betting $90 million there is a market for luxury condos downtown.

"There's so much development going on on the beach though, that when I took a look at the market, I looked at the overall development of what's going long-term for Panama City. The area that was really attractive to me is the downtown area."

The plan is to build a 10-story, $90 million luxury condo on Beach Drive and Fifth Street on the St. Andrews Bay. Fiorella's plan is focused to accommodate long-term residents to sustain the downtown community.

"So, with high-end, brand new, high-end condos in the $80 million range, I guess I'm a good example of a guy that's putting his money where his vision is."

He's also not alone in his condo venture downtown. The property where the Hawk's Nest restaurant sits and the adjoining land has also been sold with the plan to house an affordable mid-rise condo.

David Jackson, the executive director of the Downtown Improvement Board and Community Redevelopment Area, says getting a developer to invest in your community can bring in the missing component: residents.

"You're talking 500 plus residential units coming into downtown and these are going to be very affordable housing all the way up to luxury housing. That's going to be a very stabilizing component for the downtown area."

It will be stabilizing and accommodating for those who live, work or want to play downtown.