In a meeting this morning with Mel Leonard, the Planning Director for Panama City Beach, it was confirmed that a new Walmart coming is official. The location will be at the corner of Powell Adams Road and Panama City Beach Parkway (Back Beach Road) and the store size will be 156,000 square feet, roughly 70% the size of the existing Panama City Beach Walmart Supercenter.
At this point, the type of store this will be is just speculation. Although it has been said that this will be a higher-end store that would better compete with Target than the current Super Center.
Recently a new Walmart store was opened on the west end of South Walton County. I personally suspect the new Panama City Beach store would be similar to this one.
Improvements to Powell Adams Road
In order to get approval for construction of a new place of business this size, an extensive traffic study had to be completed. As a result of the traffic study, Walmart is required to pay for the infrastructure improvements that are needed in order for this area to handle the increased load that will come.
- Powell Adams Road widened to 4 lanes with center turn lane (5 lanes total)
- Widening to be taken 1700 feet down Powell Adams from PCB Pkwy
- PCB Pkwy and Powell Adams Road intersection to be signalized
- Three PCB Pkwy entrance points into plaza
CRA-grade improvements to Powell Adams
The part where Panama City Beach (and us as residents) come out on top is that Walmart has agreed to “over-improve” Powell Adams Road to the same standard as R Jackson Blvd and Churchwell Road.
Improvements that come with this “over-improvement” include:
- Underground utilities (a huge added bonus)
- Street lights
The requirement for construction doesn’t include many of these aesthetic improvements, but the city has agreed to reimburse Walmart up to $790k for adding those improvements in their infrastructure construction.
The CRA would have done this eventually, and will finish off Powell Adams Road on down the road, but for now, we’ll get an upgraded roadway for a fraction of the cost it would normally be.
At this point, a concrete start date on construction has not been set, but officials are optimistic (and on target for) a construction start date of spring of 2012 with a projected open date of spring 2013.
Keep the comments coming, they’re read