BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - A wooded lot was recently cleared across from Pete Edwards Field to make space for a new business park, showing signs of growth for Panama City Beach post-Hurricane Michael.
Counts Real Estate Group had no idea Hurricane Michael would hit the area when they began planning to build a Beach Business Park two years ago.
Chris McCall, the Senior Director of Counts Real Estate Group, said, "There's a huge demand for building suppliers and contractors and sub-contractors and we've been on the market for about 15 days and the first 14 lots are already under contract out of 30 lots, so we're almost halfway sold out."
The hurricane created a demand for office space they never could have anticipated.
"There's so much construction and repairs in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael, the demand is huge," said McCall.
Many businesses have had to move to Panama City Beach from Panama City due to damage sustained during the storm, leaving few spaces available.
Will Cramer, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Bay County Chamber of Commerce, said "In town has been extremely limited due to hurricane damage, what's been out on the beach has been pretty well occupied by businesses leaving temporarily."
And although Cramer said 90 percent of businesses they have spoken to plan to move back into town, realtors say available office space is still in high demand.
"I don't think we would have had 14 lots sold if it weren't for the hurricane," said McCall.
Counts Real Estate Group says they expect all 30 lots to be sold out by the time they are ready to be developed come mid-June.