New life coming to Downtown Panama City businesses

By  | 

DOWNTOWN PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Hurricane Michael severely damaged One Heart's Yoga studio in St. Andrews.

"We didn't know how long it was going to take to repair and so we were really concerned that the yoga community wouldn't be able to continue to practice," said owner of One Heart Yoga Studio, Morgan Godwin.

Now, the yoga studio has found a new home in Downtown Panama City.

"We found this space and it reflects us, our lives right now, it's still a work in progress and so are we," said Godwin.

That's not the only new business coming to the area. Next door to the yoga studio, History Class Brewing Company is preparing to open its doors around May.

"Breweries have become this third space, this sort of clubhouse, sort of hangout area, where communities kinda gather and revitalize the community," said co-owner of History Class Brewing Company, Allan Branch.

The Executive Director of the Downtown Improvement Board (DIB) says the area has a lot to offer.

"What is realistically a thriving growing area for business of all kinds," said Executive Director of the Downtown Improvement Board, Deric Freeman.

The DIB is encouraging property owners to give some incentives to those who want to bring their businesses to Downtown Panama City.

"Six months free rent, working with the CRA to get signage grants done where they have zero cost to new businesses for their new signage to put on their building, impact fees waived with the city," said Freeman.

The list goes on, but business owners are hoping by setting up shop in downtown, they'll see more activity in the area.

"We need people living here, walking, eating drinking, and shopping," said Branch.

Freeman said, "A year from now, downtown will just be bigger than it is already."

There are about 9 to 11 retail spaces that can either be moved into immediately or they'll be ready within the next 30 days.