Congestion on Back Beach Road to Increase

The speed limit has been lowered to 45mph, Pier Park is attracting new stores, Wal-Mart will be calling the area home soon, and now Pier Park North is scheduled to be built. Many complain about the congestion and traffic on the stretch of Back Beach Road near Pier Park already, but with these factors those commuting through Back Beach Road should expect the congestion to increase.

While the speed-limit being lowered on Back Beach Road upset many locals at first, the new development across from Pier Park has changed a lot of opinions. Considering the traffic that the increased shopping areas will add 45mph seems necessary to ensure safety.

When the new Wal-Mart was being negotiated those who lived in the neighborhoods around Pier Park were in an uproar.  Is noise and traffic a fair price to pay for a turnaround in the economy? How do you feel now that there are many factors contributing to the increase in traffic and noise?

Back Beach Near Pier Park Drops to 45MPH

The recent drop in speed limit on Back Beach Road near Pier Park stirred up a lot of discussion on our Facebook wall, and we’d like to hear more thoughts on the speed change from 55mph to 45mph.

Why?

From Hills Road to Colina Circle, the speed limit has been changed from 55mph to 45mph.  These changes were due to the amount of traffic, accidents, and the struggle for cars to pull out of Pier Park safely.  The decrease was also inspired by the recent number of tragedies in the area in past months.  One thing to consider is that the area will soon be seeing a Wal-Mart.

Community Feelings

While it’s too early to tell how people feel about the change, it seems that opinions are split.  Those who live in the neighborhoods around Pier Park seem to lean in favor of the lowered speed limit, while those who pass through see it as ineffective.  A common standpoint seems to be that the change isn’t going to be fun, but if it keeps people safer – then it’s a necessary one.

That being said, how do you feel about the speed limit being lowered to 45mph around Pier Park?

Publix All Set to Open, Beckrich, er R Jackson Looking Good

The new Publix is all set to go and scheduled to open on May 20 in Panama City Beach.  Replacing the current location at the intersection of Middle Beach Road (Hutchison Blvd) and R Jackson Blvd (formerly Beckrich), the new Publix will be around 5,000 square feet larger ringing in at around 54,000 square feet.

I got a sneak peak inside yesterday and all the shelving is up and much of the store is stocked and ready to go.  “The shelved merchandise from the old store will go to other stores, it won’t come here,” said Tom Screws, the General Manager.

Along with the opening of Publix, will come a Dunkin Donuts and an Office Depot, although there is more specific news on the Office Depot in the video.  I will say I was a little disappointed.

In addition, the completed CRA on R Jackson Blvd (formerly known as Beckrich Road) is looking good.  The widening and overall beautifucation is a refreshing example of what all of our major traffic corridors will look like in due time.  I, as well as most of you, anxiously await the day when the rest of the CRA is complete.  I just hope they don’t rename every street that is redone.

I do have one question for city officials.  What is the maintenance program set in place for all the beautiful landscaping that was put in on Beckrich Road?  There are TONS of weeds coming up in the median and it will not take long for it to look taken over and very unkept.

New Publix, Office Depot, Dunkin Donuts Close to Opening

Each day, the new Publix and Office Depot leap closer to opening day.  The parking lot is paved, much of the landscaping is in and workers are tying up loose ends on cable and patching up walls.  With blue skies above and mild weather, working outside this time of year is almost a dream.

The building facades are pretty much done and looking nice.  They still need to line the parking, but most of the rest of the outside work is complete.  I’m pretty sure that nothing has been done inside any of the buildings.  I had been told that projected opening dates were in April, but at this time, it seems unlikely that anything will be open before May.

Many of you have asked what is going in at the old location, and unfortunately, at this time, I don’t really have any good info on that.  I did call Equity One, the publicly traded company that owns it along with many other retail properties all over the southeast, and they declined to tell me anything.  So, I guess we’ll find out sometime in the future!

Publix on Back Beach Construction Update

012809_dunkin_2Holy Smokes, they seem to be flying over there.  Everytime I drive by it seems like they’ve made huge milestones in the development.  They are set to complete the project by April, so they are on the last few months until completion.  In the same plaza will be a much needed Office Depot and much desired Dunkin Donuts.

Hopefully they’ll come in with $4/dozen prices like they have in Texas and help drive down the competition.  $7.50 a dozen is crazy talk!

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New Corner Decoration installed at Beckrich and Back Beach Road

012809_beckrich

This past week the newest addition to the intersection of Back Beach and Beckrich Roads was complete.  Part of the beautification and roadway marker efforts are to install these consistent corner decoration assemblies at major intersections on Back Beach Road.

The intersection of Beckrich and Back Beach Road is home to Home Depot, Chick Fil-A, and a million new banks and the future home of Publix, Office Depot and Dunkin Donuts, yay!

012809_beckrich_2Cadi-corner to this an exact replica had been installed since the development of the business park adjoining to the Sprint/Nextel call center.  The facade is beautiful and pleasing to look at.

New Publix to Open in 6 months on Back Beach Road

_mg_6416_2wtmkWith vertical up and sheetrock going in, the new Publix on Back Beach Road across from Home Depot in Panama City Beach will be complete by April and open by May.

Located at the intersection of Beckrich and Back Beach Roads, the new Publix will replace the old one currently located at Middle Beach Road and Beckrich where Sonic and PostNet are located.  My sources tell me that they will lease out that commercial space as soon as it is vacated.

_mg_6416_2wtmkThe design and architecture will be just like that seen at the other new Publix on Thomas Drive at Magnolia Beach Road, going into Bay Point.  Featuring all new equipment, the employees are excited about the move.

In addition to a new Publix, this particular parcel will sprout an Office Depot as well as a Dunkin Donuts, finally.

Stay tuned for more updates.