School, Community at Old Airport Under Construction

By  | 

PANAMA CITY - We're finally seeing some construction at the old Panama City Bay County Airport property.

A developer is building a 700 acre community called Sweet Bay.

A city within a city; that's the idea behind the community.

It will occupy more than 700 acres that used to be home to the Panama City Bay County International Airport.

"A main feature of Sweet Bay is to allow people to work and to shop and to interact in their own neighborhood," said William Harrison, local attorney.

Developers say it will have about about 3,200 residential units, including waterfront apartments and condos.

There are plans for about 700,000 square feet of retail space, including office space, stores and restaurants, but the amenities don't stop there.

Harrison said, "We have a great trail system for bikes and for pedestrians, so everyone can travel around there in the neighborhood."

The plans include several parks and a marina is on the drawing board.

Crews have already begun work on the first project, a new charter school at the old airport terminal.

More than 500 students are already enrolled in the University Academy Charter School for the fall term.

"The Bay High families of schools, which are all located within the city limits of Panama City are going to receive a boost of education like we have never seen in Bay County or Northwest Florida," said Harrison.

Developers say the entire project will take about 25 years to complete.

They hope to have model homes ready before the end of the year.

The school opens in August.