City of Callaway growing both commercially and residentially

Published: Oct. 17, 2023 at 10:43 PM CDT
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CALLAWAY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -Last week was the five-year anniversary of Hurricane Michael devastating the Panhandle.

Communities all over were affected -- including Callaway.

The major build-back is underway, and the plan is to make Callaway as strong as ever.

“It really represents, in general, the strength of this area after Michael. This area got hit hard,” said Ishmael Husam, board member of the Callaway City Planning Board.

Officials say that roughly 80% of the structures in Callaway were either demolished or severely damaged.

In the aftermath those that stayed helped to build.

“You know, we found out how resilient we are. A lot of the citizens stayed and rebuilt, and they’re back in their homes,” said Callaway Mayor Pamn Henderson.

Some of the growth has been residential.

“All kinds of growth, actually. You know after the hurricane, there was a desperate need for housing,” Henderson said.

At Tuesday night’s city planning meeting, another new construction project was discussed.

“There’s a new 360-unit gated luxury apartment complex coming to Callaway,” Husam said.

That complex will be located off North Tyndall Parkway.

Hurricane response isn’t the only cause of the growth.

The growth that Tyndall Air Force Base is seeing is a major factor in Callaway’s response.

“[For] Callaway, specifically, it’s really important that we get ready for the influx of the incoming Tyndall military personnel,” said Husam.

“Because of the storm, Tyndall was destroyed and has to rebuild. So, yes, it all kind of ties into each other,” said Henderson.

The growth in Callaway is a blessing that was the result of a major setback.

“As much as you hate to say it, there was a silver lining to the storm, because it did open up opportunities that weren’t there before,” Henderson said.