New Walmart Construction Update 1

The new Walmart going in next to Pier Park is heavy underway and great progress can be seen on daily basis.  If you remember the parcel where Walmart will be, you’ll probably remember it was largely vacant but bordered with tree cover.  The tree cover was heavy enough so that you couldn’t really see around the corner at the Powell Adams and Back Beach Road intersection.  Well, not so now!

I’ll be the first to admit, the construction of a new Walmart in Panama City Beach isn’t exactly a riveting sight to be seen.  It’s sort of like watching grass grow during the early phases since a lot of the work being done for the first half of the construction tenure is ground work.  But as things start moving, we’ll show you more pix – and we hope that as we follow the timeline, the progress will seem at least a little interesting.  😉

Aerial Google Map of what it was.

This was captured today and shows an image of what the property looked like before any construction was begun.  The parking lot in the upper left corner belongs to Target, the neighborhood on the right of the image is Summerwood with Palmetto Trace being right across the street (Back Beach Road) from there.

Taken from the NE, looking SW

This image was taken from the south side of Back Beach Road, looking towards the south (technically), but facing a little west.  The condo on the right in the image is Calypso with Aqua on the left.  You can see a little smidge of Target on the far right middle of the image.  This picture is likely looking over where an outparcel will be.

Looking at NW corner of the Walmart parcel

This image was taken to show how clearly you can now see around this corner.  Before there was heavy tree covering hear and it was difficult to see around the corner.  Now you can see straight across.  I’m not one for cutting down a bunch of trees, but it is nice to be able to see through this intersection much more clearly now.

Another view of the NW corner of the Walmart parcel

This view shows you how clear that corner is now.  When construction is complete, this particular intersection will be signalized and should be much safer than it now is.

View from the NW looking SE

In this image, we’re looking from the NW corner of the Walmart parcel next to Pier Park.  The image is facing the southeast.  The building you see in the very middle (next to the truck) is Legacy by the Sea, the you have Origin at Seahaven, Sunrise Beach then Emerald Beach Resort.  You can see the vastness of the property in this image and just how much land has been cleared.  We are likely looking over an outparcel in this shot.

The widened view down Powell Adams

 

As discussed, along with a new Walmart, Panama City Beach is getting an advanced treatment to Powell Adams Road that the CRA wouldn’t be able to perform for years.  We’ll have an update on the completion of the South Thomas Drive CRA in a couple days, which will give you an idea of how this stretch of road will look and feel.  For someone who just traveled the newly improved South Thomas Drive yesterday, we’ll be in for a real treat here.  This shot shows the preparation for making the widening provisions.

 Construction entrance to the project

Maybe this is the norm nowadays, but I thought this was particularly cool.  They have a “zone” where exiting vehicles are washed while resting on a bed of large rocks to help minimize the amount of soil that exits the property and is deposited on the roadways.

Looking NE from the SW

This shot looks form the southwest looking towards the northeast.  The water was actually from the legacy pond that has been formed over the years this property sat vacant.  I’m not sure whether this will be used as a retention pond or if it will be filled in.  This is the back part of the parcel.

 

Anchorage Childrens Home Anchors Families in our Area

 

 

In a little over a week,  Anchorage Children’s Home will host The First Annual Anchors Away 6k and Family Fun Run  at Panama City Beach Conservation Park, or “Gayle’s Trails” as we call it.

Though formal sponsorship opportunities have closed, Anchorage is still looking for businesses and individuals that want to contribute to runner’s grab bags.

Each participant will receive a race T-shirt, along with a bag full of goodies from local vendors.  If you would like to donate an item for the grab bags whether it’s a restaurant coupon or a koozie,  please contact Brooke at 850 763 7102.

 

If you are not a business, but a resident that would like to enjoy the sunshine on race day, Anchorage encourages you to come out and cheer on your friends if you are not participating yourself.  Or if you want, you can sign up as late as right before the race on Saturday, June 23rd.  The race doesn’t start until 8 am, but get there earlier, around 630 am and you can still participate. And don’t forget, the family fun run is super relaxed, so bring your stroller and your puppy….it is for the WHOLE family, four legs and all.

If you are unable to come this year, Anchorage Children’s Home would appreciate your support in other ways.  Development director, Brooke Bullard explained to me that although eventually they would like this event to be a viable fundraising vehicle, that is not their sole intent.

“We do special events like this, not for fundraising, but for friend-raising.

She added, “because the more friends we have the more people can benefit from our programs and services in our community. “

And that community she is speaking of???? Well, it is a lot bigger than you think.  I did not realize how long and deep and wide it was until I sat down and visited with Brooke this Monday afternoon.

Anchorage Children’s Home serves our 6 county area, more specifically: Bay, Gulf, Jackson, Calhoun, Washington, and Holmes

 

Anchorage works to empower their residents with life skills they need
Computer room for residents to learn basic skills and work on school work

 

A lot of PCB residents do not realize that two of their very successful programs Hannah’s house and The Bridge Transitional Living Program are located on Panama City Beach.  Brooke shared proudly with me, “we just had three kids from that program graduate high school last week.”   Brooke like many involved in the organization, believe that the participants just need the right resources to be empowered and guided to make the choices they need to improve their situation.  “We are a hand UP, not a hand OUT”, Brooke continued.  And sometimes that “hand up” is all they need to see the light at the end of the tunnel and get that cap and gown.

A couple weeks ago when I told you about the event they were having I told you that Anchorage served homelesss and at risk youth in our area, but what does that even mean?

I have to be honest, until I went to Anchorage this past week, I myself had a very cloudy understanding.  But basically, Anchorage is about giving kids who have now where else to go, a safe place to go.  It is a 24 hour shelter that is often the transitional home when children are removed from their homes because of a dangerous situation or while they are waiting to be place with a foster family, which this area is short on, by the way.

But more than a shelter, they provide FREE services, that many families do not even know about, including counseling and other intervention services for parents who are having a hard time with their teenager’s defiant, truant, other wise risky behavior.

But their biggest means to success outside of their Mobile Outreach program, counseling programs, Hidle House,  Hannah’s House, The Bridge….. YOU.

While these program are funded by grants, every year they come up for renewal.  Without the help of area residents and friends, through their Annual Giving Program, they are in danger of being cut every year.  Anchorage just started a new facebook page, while you are on Pinterest reading the funny ecards and checking out skinny recipes…..why not throw a “like’ their way?

But even better….turn your “like” into a “love”…….schedule a tour of one of their facilities with a friend or your co-workers so you can see first hand the amazing strides this organziation has taken since its inception.  If you would like to schedule a tour or make a donation you can call Brooke at  850 763 7102 or you can also visit their website.  If you would like to make “in kind” donation, they also would appreciate that.

Items needed right now:

Travel Sized Toiletries (save your your bottles while travelling!)

Non Perishable food times for the Mobile Out Reach team (pop up lids, granola bars, water bottles, etc)

Socks, flip fops, undergarments especially for girls/young women (size 3 to 5)

Now I know at least a few of you have a couple of those mini Shampoos from the Holiday Inn or The Marriott in your bathroom drawer somewhere, right?

Beachy Beach Real Estate on the West End of Panama City Beach ( Just East of Publix) will be setting up a collection box for you to bring some of these donation items and will transport them to Anchorage on your behalf.  If your heart moves you to help this wonderful organization in another way….please call Brooke Bullard, Developement Director right away at 850 763 7102 or shoot her an email: bbullard@anchoragechildrenshome.org

No gift, given with GREAT love, is too small.

 

Until then….see you June 23rd at Gayle’s Trails!

 

 

 

Wicked Good Food at the Wicked Wheel

There’s a new restaurant in town, but it’s ran by some of the most seasoned dining veterans in Panama City Beach.  Having been in the works for nearly 2 years, The Wicked Wheel Bar and Grill opened in April and is serving “the best fried chicken and the biggest burgers on the beach.”

“The theme itself and the vision had been life long. The actual getting-it-custom takes time, and we were not willing to sacrifice quality to get it open any sooner,” said Jared Knetzer of The Wicked Wheel.

The Wicked Wheel is owned and operated by the same that own Pineapple Willy’s – the Buskell family. They are located right on Middle Beach Road (Hutchison) a few doors down (to the west) from Walmart and right across from Miracle Strip Loop.  There used to be a Tony Roma’s there, years ago.

Their fried chicken.

I’ll be honest, I’m not much of a fried chicken guy.  Not that I don’t like that funky fowl – quite the opposite.  I’m just not a traditional fried chicken guy.  But, I had to try what was being touted as “the best fried chicken on the beach.”  I ordered the 3 pc Classic Original chicken meal and added a Custom Spicy drumstick to test it out.

When they  brought out my order, I was greeted with an elegant presentation of fried chicken, mashed potatoes with gravy and seasoned green beans.  The chicken skin seemed to me to be perfectly crunchy yet flakey and the meat was juicy, tender and full of flavor.  I had ranch to supplement, but I didn’t need it.

The Spicy was hot, but not too hot.  It was good, had zing and will be my pick next time, if I don’t get one of their Classic Burnout Burgers.

The famous motorcycle seat bar.

Maybe “famous” is stretching it a little, but besides their food, it’s all anyone talks about – so maybe not.  The outside is accented with motorcycles and dedicated biker parking, but when you walk inside, you’re found with a whole motif that revolves around “custom cars, custom bikes, and all things cool,” said Knetzer.

“We have some motorcycles as seats at the bar [and]. . . If you look around you will notice everything from the 27 Ford T-Bucket hanging on the wall, the ‘hot rod hostess station’ which is made from a tool box, several car related signs through out, track lights made out of Fram oil filters, vintage car license plates, as well as art displayed throughout the restaurant,” added Knetzer.

The menu.

If you ask their wait staff what’s popular, they’ll tell you the chicken and their burgers.

Their Classic, Cheese and Bacon Cheese Burnout Burger is dressed in lettuce, tomato, onions and pickles and a variety of cheeses.

Their Custom Burnout Burgers:

Leadsled – ham, American cheese and bacon

Flame Thrower – pepperjack cheese, jalapeños, grilled onions, and peppers

Lowrider – white nacho cheese, chili, and pico de gallo

Sportster – cheddar cheese, grilled onions, and BBQ sauce

Shovelhead – provolone cheese, grilled mushrooms, and onions

Roadrunner – chicken breast and choice of cheese

And of course, they have a Challenger – which if you can finish (sides and all) in 14 minutes, you’ll get your picture on the wall and a free Challenger t-shirt.  What are you eating?  A Double Classic Burnout Burger with cheese.

You can view their entire menu here.

PCB Plaza Brings Private Office Space to the Small Business Owner

One of the things Panama City Beach has been lacking for a while is a cozy place for the super-small business (3 employees or less) to call home.  The concept seems simple really, find a building, build some walls and rent out small private offices that include power and internet in the rent.  Add flexible lease terms and a convenient location and you have a winner.

I’ve been working for myself for a long time and the need for a small, private place to work is something that has been hard to fill.  Spending $800+ per month for a whole office in which much of the space will go unused is just silly.  So you can see why the idea of a shared workspace works for me.

Yes, both PCBDaily and Panama City Beach Luxury Properties have a new home.  🙂  That’s our office up above.

The concept.

The whole idea revolves around the fact that people that own small businesses need a place to work but can’t afford to spend more than a couple hundred dollars.  I’ve worked from home for a long time, but I’ve always had the need to meet clients, get away from the kids 🙂 , and store work crap.

The idea of a shared workspace isn’t new, though.  Called Coworking, the concept has cropped up all over the world, centered around the creative industry since many of the “self-employed” in that industry are freelancers on a budget.

Although I wouldn’t call what’s at PCB Plaza Coworking, per se, it’s certainly an opportunity to have some private office space for a budget price.

Office for rent.

Originally there were about 8 spaces for rent there, but they’re currently expanding and building out a half dozen more spaces for rent.  The private offices are a variety of 10×10′ and 10×20′ spaces.  Many of them have outside doors and the rest have a shared hallway and common entry.

Pricing starts at $325 per month and includes power, internet, access to community kitchen and use of other common areas.

You can learn more about PCB Plaza on their website or just call Judy at 850-234-3629.  Make sure you tell her you read about it on PCBDaily.com!

Location

PCB Plaza is located right on Back Beach Road, across from the Lyndell Shopping Plaza – actually, it’s directly across from the Centennial Bank on the end of the plaza.  It’s an L shaped building that’s home to the Dream Day Spa.

The physical address is:

12118 Panama City Beach Parkway, PCB

Current list of tenants.

Right now there is a wide variety of business types in the “plaza” ranging from hair stylists, a car dealer, real estate agent, us :), a day spa and more.  This particular type of working arrangement works really well for anyone that needs a small office space that private, quiet and centrally located.

Panama City Beach Luxury Properties and PCBDaily.com

You know who we are, but we occupy three spaces that have been combined into one long space.  We are suite number 10 and 11 and we house our luxury vacation rental company and PCBDaily.com out of here.

Location: Suite 10/11

Click here to visit our website.

Lacey Belt, Coastal Concepts Realty

Lacey is a licensed Florida Realtor with Coastal Concepts Realty, whose other office is in Lynn Haven.  They specialize in residential real estate sales including single family homes, condos, townhomes,  and mobile homes.  They have a knowledge and understanding of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae foreclosures, short sales, and regular sales!

Click here to visit her website.

Dream Day Spa

Dream Day Spa is a luxury spa in Panama City Beach that provides affordable skin care and pampering spa treatments. They offer massages, facials and more. They are in the end suite and are here Monday through Friday 10 am to 6 pm.

Location: End suite on the west side.

Click here to visit their website.

Randee Baker, Hair Stylist

Randee offers a variety of salon services ranging from color to cuts to customized styles.  She offers a full range of foils, multi-dimensional coloring, designer cuts, and more.

Location: Suite 4

Randee is available by appointment only by calling 850-774-7323

Amber Hagan, Hair Stylist

Amber provides a salon experience where the client can enjoy personalized styles to fit his or her style and taste.  She uses top of the line hair colors, and through years of experience can develop the perfect color for you. She specializes in foils, multi-dimensional coloring, designer cuts, and waxing for men and women.

Location: Suite 7

Amber is available by appointment only by calling 850-691-3376

Beach Boys Shuttle

Beach Boys Shuttle provides exceptional customer service. Our fleet of shuttles guarantees that you will travel with safety and convenience in Panama City Beach and surrounding areas. Our knowledgeable drivers are prompt and courteous. Also ask us about special airport discounts.

Location: Suite 8

Click here to visit their website, or call 850-238-5472.

JC’s Custom Services, Permanent Cosmetic Makeup

JC’s offers quality permanent cosmetics and scar camouflaging.  Some of the things he can do include eyeliner, eyebrows, lipliner, blush, eye shadow, and lip color. He offers discounts on multiple procedures and a 25% discount to all military, government, city, and county workers.

They are available by appointment by calling 850-890-4686

Shipwreck Island Celebrates 30 Years, Offers Something New for 2012

We’re certainly no stranger to Shipwreck Island Waterpark. “30 years of tips, dips and flips,” is no lie. And me and my family have spent many a’ summer day splashing, playing and sliding.

Originally paired with the original Miracle Strip Amusement Park, Shipwreck Island has stood alone since 2004. They’ve weathered the test of time and are still held dear to the hearts of decades-old loyalists.

This year marks their 30th year of fun!

“It’s almost like we’re being rediscovered by the visitors to Panama City Beach as well as the many wonderful lodging facilities. Some people may have thought that Shipwreck Island went away when Miracle Strip Park was sold. This year the momentum and excitement has grown so rapidly that we’ve had to make some adjustments in how we operate. Our Facebook page is growing by leaps and bounds, and has around 21,000 friends with no slowing down in sight.” ~ Buddy Wilkes, GM

Just a couple weeks ago, they commemorated their big anniversary with a huge sale of season passes for just $69/per. This included a rather sweet coupon book that had a large variety of sweet deals like 30 cent refills and drastically discounted snacks.

Something special for Summer 2012

Now the park is promoting seven day passes to be provided in packages through local accommodations on the beach. The passes will allow visitors to hit the beach in the morning and do Shipwreck in the afternoon, or vice versa. A pass that is good for seven days in a row can provide numerous mini visits, and guests can go and come as they want all week long. It’s like having a season pass just for your week at Panama City Beach. New Attraction for 2012 too!

The Pirate’s Race is the newest attraction which was added to the park this year. It features two twisting waterslides that lets moms and dads challenge their little ones to see who splashes into the pool first. Shipwreck Island is open every day from 10:30 a.m. until about 5:00 p.m. through August 12. The park will be open on weekends after that until Labor Day weekend.

Duck Adventures gives Duck Boat Tours in PCB

Since 1942, the DUKW has been carrying people from land to water to land again. Originally the DUKW was a military vehicle, but one of Pamama City Beach’s latest attractions has these amphibious buses dressed in yellow giving creative tours of the beach.

Duck Adventures has two of these yellow, open-aired boat-buses giving tours daily. Opened in February, their “wall of fame” is already quickly growing with pictures of happy travelers blowing their duck billed noise making “quackers”.

You’ve probably seen them driving around town – you know, those big yellow boats on wheels with “Tame the Duck” on the side?

About the DUKW

From Wikipedia 

The designation of DUKW is not a military acronym; rather, the name comes from the model naming terminology used by GMC:[5]

  • “D” indicated a vehicle designed in 1942,
  • “U” meant “utility”,
  • “K” indicated driven front wheels,
  • “W” indicated two powered rear axles.

The DUKW was used by the US Army, US Marine Corps and Allied forces in landings in the Mediterranean, Pacific, on the D-Day beaches of Operation Husky, Normandy and also during the battle of the Scheldt, Operation Veritable and Operation Plunder.

They’re 31 feel long, 8.25 feet wide and capable of up to 50 mph on the road and 6.4 mph on water.  The original DUKW’s had 6 cylinders, but the Duck Adventure models have 350 V8’s and all new transmissions.

Tame the Duck Tours

Currently they have two tour boats with a third scheduled to come online in the first weeks of summer.  Each boat holds 28 people.

Tours run every two hours daily beginning at 10 am and ending at 6 pm, and they run about 75 minutes.  They operate out of the Shoppes at Edgewater and travel a route on the east end of Panama City Beach.  A “west end” tour is in the works, but won’t launch this tourism season.

Beginning the second week in June, tours will run every hour on the hour.

The tour leaves the Shoppes and heads east on Front Beach Road to Thomas Drive, then down Thomas Drive to the Curve.  From there they head north to Captain Andersons where they take a right to launch at a private boat ramp just to the east of Lighthouse Marina.

Once they enter the water they tour Grand Lagoon and “land” the same place they “launched”.  The tour then takes you up Thomas Drive to the Fly Over, down Front Beach Road to Middle Beach Road, then back to R Jackson Blvd.

All along the tour, the guide/captain offers an entertaining narration of fun local hotspots, must-see places and live events you can’t miss.

Tour Costs and More Info
  • Adults $24.95
  • Kids 12 and under and seniors $17.49
  • Kids 3 and under are free
  • Family of four special – $69.95

For more information, visit their website or swing by and take a peek!