A recent traffic study indicates there might be a new Walmart coming to Panama City Beach. The traffic study is said to be standard operating procedure when it comes to putting in a large retailer such as a Walmart. The goal is to get a better understanding of the local traffic, the ingress and egress environment and get a first blush analysis of if this would actually work.
The site that the study is focused around is the parcel of land directly across Powell Adams road from the Pier Park Target. The traffic study explores the addition of a light at that intersection and three full-access driveways.
The current Walmart is located at the crossroads of Front Beach Road, Middle Beach Road and South Thomas Drive. The current location has certainly become an epicenter, if you will, of tourism action. When that Walmart was built, there was nothing around it. Now, just to name a few items, there is a Ripley’s, Wonderworks, Walgreen’s, Backyard Burger, and tons of other places.
The existing location, according to public records, is 223,168 square foot. The new proposed building would be approximately 156,000 square feet – roughly 70% of the size.
What are you thoughts on this? Do you think this would boost the economical vitality of the west end / Pier Park area? Do you think this could damage Target or make it stronger? Do you think this smaller store would have a produce section and finally bring some grocery aspect to a near Pier Park location?