Commissioner Get First Glimpse of Downtown's Future

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Condos, retail space, even a baseball stadium could all be in the future for downtown Panama City.

An urban planner presented his vision of the downtown area to Panama City commissioners Tuesday afternoon, but the key component of the plan is creating residential space, then attracting people from the younger generation to live in the downtown area.

"They're not as interested as previous generations in the large lot homes in the suburbs," said urban designer Jason Combs. "Panama City has great bones for providing this to them in the downtown area. We've got a great block structure, I mean, the beautiful bayous and bays, etcetera, but it's kind of empty."

Commissioners seemed to be a bit overwhelmed by the sweeping plans they received.

"We thought we were getting a feasibility study, it's kinda more of a plan," said Panama City Mayor Greg Brudnicki. "How and whether that stuff can come into fruition is gonna be based on a lot of extenuating circumstances."

But Combs is confident in the plant.

"I definitely think it can happen. There's gotta be cooperation between the city and the private sector, it's gonna take both, not one or the other, but it can happen, yes."

Brudnicki says if someone is willing to invest, the city will work to make it happen.

Commissioners added that if Dan Gilmore, who commissioned the study, can come up with the investment money, they would make sure the city has the necessary zoning and building codes to make the growth possible.