2008 has been a monumental year for us at pcbdaily. We’ve seen super awesome growth, expanded our content base tremendously and have reached out to more people than we had ever expected.
Looking back, the top stories covered good times and bad, with some of the bad times being good for others and some of the good times being bad for some.
4 of the top 10 articles talked about new additions to our area, namely Pier Park and the new Panama City Bay County International Airport (I know, we need a new name, and that will be addressed in 2009).
Walking around the mall, it is sometimes hard to imagine that this time last year, Pier Park’s roads were not even paved yet. Colorful buildings had been erect for some time, but the mall as a whole was still just under 2 months from opening. Looking back, it amazes me how quick somethings get done.
The new airport has hit milestones aplenty during 2008. Just a little over a year ago, the airport groundbreaking ceremony took place. When 2008 rolled in, the airport was caught in a legal battle with the NRDC and the Fiends of PFN.
In what was expected to draw out for months, the case was totally thrown out on January 25th, clearing the Airport Authority for construction immediately. The case was in many instances described as frivolous, and was not taken seriously by the judge. Opponents touted the failure of an affirmative vote in a non-binding referendum vote, but were never able to validate the fairness of the actual vote in regards to it being represented to all those affected.
For the new airport, 2008 brought the site from a stumpy, patchy 4,000 acre site to a cleared, grubbed site that is almost completely brought to grade with terminal parking installed, foundation work for the terminal complete, an asphalt-paved runway with some concrete and funding for a full 10,000 foot runway.
As the economy has plunged during 2008, so have real estate prices. Now, this has been a topic of hot debate on pcbdaily. I’ve oft been blasted by the Realtor community for spreading “bad news” and not “helping” the market by taking part in the media frenzy of negativity. However, the reality is, those that are complaining should be putting that energy into finding buyers because now is a great time to buy real estate.
Plunging prices mean good deals for all buyers. I understand the hesitation and skepticism, but things will not always be this way, and in 10 years, us agents will be doing our homework on baypa.net thinking to ourselves that we should have bought as much as possible back in 2008 and 2009 when prices were so cheap. 3 of the top 10 articles of 2008 were specifically about condo auctions in Panama City Beach. The Palazzo condo auction story took the cake, trailed by the Ocean Reef Auction and the cancelled Marina Landing auction. The Seahaven auction actually made it in the top 15 and is only a few weeks old.
The other 3 articles of the top 10 articles of 2008 on pcbdaily have to do with problems at local condos and the condo market as a whole. Laketown Wharf has been a sore topic for many with the developer being a self-proclaimed Trump with a Drawl – Jerry Wallace.
A largely vacant, 750 condo, elephantine monolith, Laketown Wharf actually had great aspirations, with some possibility of success had it come unto creation mid 2004. With huge swimming pools, a Balagio-style fountain/light show, a 650-seat live performance theatre, 5 restaurants and 1,000’s of square feet of retail space, it was planned to be almost a small town.
With less than 70 closings, it has been largely regarded as a complete and utter failure, but Laketown Wharf yet has a bright future with Corus stepping in. 2009 should bring something good for that development, hopefully.
Anyway, enough – enjoy the articles and looking back on 2008!