Airport Sales Bids and Plans Disclosed

Sports complexes, condos, homes, marinas, hotels and parks are just some of the things that might show up on the current Panama City-Bay County International Airport land.

The Airport Authority made public some of the plans submitted by the four bidders, as well as the amount of money they're offering for the airport.

The four development companies submitted their bids a couple of weeks ago, but this is the first time we're seeing who bid, how much they bid, and what they plan to do with the 770 acres along North Bay.

Ashwood Development, out of Atlanta, Georgia, bid $30 million. It plans include a 500-room hotel, condos, single-family homes, office and retail space, a 480-slip marina and space for a future school.

Community Airport Redevelopment, out of Salt Lake City, Utah, bid $50 million. CAR submitted two plans including a public marina, town center, educational campus retail and office space and a sports complex. A scaled down version replaces the sports complex with a golf course.

RMC Investors, a local group including developer Earl Durden, bid 56-and-a-half million. The only information airport officials released about RMC’s proposal is that it would follow the airport's bid guidelines and include adequate parks and recreational areas.

The highest bidder is PCA Development out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. PCA bid $61 million. Plans include a variety of residential living like single family homes, condos, estates and affordable housing and assisted living units. There is also a town center with a hotel, office and retail space and a marina.

PCA has a lot of local ties, with a number of consulting, design and engineering partners located here in northwest Florida. The group developed Wild Heron at Lake Powell, World Golf Village and Laterra Resort, both in St. Augustine, Indigo in Perdido Key and exclusive Fisher Island in Miami.

Value of the current airport buildings and property is $54.5 million. That's an important figure, because the money the county makes off of the sale will go to help build the new airport in West Bay.

The winning bid won't be decided by money alone. The overall development plans and a number of financial issues will figure prominently in deciding who gets the airport property.

This will be a long process. The developer has to be willing to wait as long as four years for the new airport to be completed.

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