Construction starting on Bay City Point

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - It's been called one of the most desirable retail spots in all of Panama City. Now, after some delays, construction is finally about to get underway on Bay City Point, a new shopping center at the corner of 23rd Street and Highway 77.

Panama City commissioners approved a modified incentive package for the project developer, R.H. Ledbetter Property, Inc. Those incentives now call for the developer to get 90 percent of the 1 percent merchant tax, for the first 30 years, or until it receives $15 million. The original incentive package had the developer receiving 95 percent of the merchant tax for 15 years, or until it received $15 million.

All of the permits for the project have finally been received and land will be cleared soon.

The first phase will have six stores, which will face 23rd Street. Panama City Commissioner Mike Nichols said a Cracker Barrel is going to be part of the project, but City Planning Director Mike Lane said Cracker Barrel has yet to submit any paperwork related to the project.

The project is expected to create more than 300 jobs. No timeline was given on when the first stores would be open. There's also no timeline on Phase Two of the project.