Pier Park Nears Completion

With many more stores set to open right around the corner, crews tirelessly work to get the rest of Pier Park ready for the masses. I was there yesterday morning and more signs are up with the interiors of retailers such as Hollister, American Eagle and Borders Books and Music are quickly taking shape.

I got to peek inside Borders, and it looks done to me. I was told that it was one of five of their largest stores nationwide. They are recruiting management from within their ranks from around the country to come down and take over. They open on May 2nd.

Among the retailers just announced are Olive Garden, Great American Cookie Company, Maurices, Famous Footwear, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Blender A Fusion Clothing Store, The Eye Gallery, Carter’s Children’s Apparel, Shimmering Seas Jewelery & Gifts, Cute N’ Sassy Children’s Boutique and Things Remembered.

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Analysts say Northwest Florida already prospering

Assuming the current climate of the Florida real estate market, many investors are weary of St. Joe stock.  With it peaking at around $80/share in mid 2005, shares were at $42.30 this morning.  One thing that may not be as commonly known is the powerful position St. Joe is actually in.

If you remember a couple of weeks ago, I quoted Bob Toll in his “hunker-down” statement:

“You move from an expansion mode to protecting your balance sheet immediately. . .  Then you hunker down, build up your cash, wait for the blood in the streets and take advantage of the opportunities.”

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A Written Warning to College Spring Breakers

Mark Canfora, in his effort to reduce the harm brought by college spring break has requested that a “Disclaimer and Warning” be placed in all hotel rooms, condos, convenience stores, etc. as long as college spring break is promoted by the TDC.

He wrote a letter to the Mayor of Panama City Beach requesting that this issue be officially legally assessed on the ability of the city to actually carry out this plan, the letter reads:

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Bay County Value Adjustment Board cuts assessments

The Bay County VAB, or Value Adjustment Board, reviewed just under 600 properties and cut assessments on many. Some were cut by percentages, others by who dollar amounts, and some individually and others whole areas. Bid-A-Wee Beach, for example, received lower assessments on all 521 properties with 15% cut for properties closer to the water and the rest of the subdivision received 10% cuts.

Not every case heard received cuts, most assessment cuts were based on 2007 sales numbers, which more accurately reflected current market values.

Summer Kids Movies at The Grand in Pier Park

As blogged by Jerry The Grand Theater in Pier Park will have something called Summer Kids Flicks for 10 weeks including movies such as Everyone’s Hero, Open Season, Ice Age, Charlotte’s Web, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Bee Movie, Flushed Away, Madagascar, Jimmy Neutron, and Over the Hedge every Tuesday and Wednesday starting June 3.

The theater will open at 9:30 with the movies starting at 10 am.  Tickets are $3.00 and include popcorn and children’s soda.

Panama City Beach featured in AJC

“Panama City Beach rocks with new attractions, hotels, eateries”, the title reads. Atlanta, arguably PCB’s biggest fan, featured an article talking about all the new stuff that has come to our beach in the last year. In addition to all the new shops and restaurants that are now available at Pier Park, the FSU Flying High Circus will be coming to Frank Brown Park this summer. They’ve got a contract to do this for the next 10 years. Trapeze artists, clowns, jugglers and acrobatic daredevils will be performing 6 nights a week with many of the performers also being instructors at a summer camp hosted for children ages 7-12.

New General Manager at Edgewater Beach Resort

The Resort Collection of Panama City Beach, the largest rental management company in Panama City Beach, has announced the appointment of Tom Sparks as General Manager of the Edgewater Beach & Golf Resort. Sparks has a 17-year history with the Edgewater Beach & Golf Resort, having served most recently as Vice President of Association Operations. In that capacity, he worked with the Board of Directors of the various associations and his responsibilities included overseeing the maintenance of the physical properties, buildings and grounds.

Sparks is a long-standing member of the area’s hospitality industry. In 1981, he relocated from Fort Payne, Alabama to Panama City Beach where he and his family owned and operated a beach hotel property. He became active in the Bay County Hospitality Association (which later became The Greater Panama City Beach Chamber of Commerce), serving as President and on its Board of Directors. Sparks was a founding director of The Greater Panama City Beach Chamber of Commerce and has served as President of that organization as well. Along with other area hospitality leaders, he was instrumental in creating the present-day Tourist Development Council.

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Have Panama City Beach Condos Hit Bottom Yet? Probably Not.

From www.condosaletrends.com

Jason’s April 12, 2008 article titled “Have We Hit Bottom Yet?” implies that because there are no negative newspaper stories concerning the current real estate market, that we must be nearing the bottom. Jason quotes NAR chief economist, Lawrence Yum predicting “Notable Improvement” in 2008. I have been following Yum’s analyses and predictions from the months leading up to the top of the real estate bubble (mid to late 2005) up to his latest prediction. The thing that stands out about Yum’s analyses is that he has been 100% wrong on every prediction. We all want to believe that the bottom of this market cycle is near.

Continue reading “Have Panama City Beach Condos Hit Bottom Yet? Probably Not.”