Beckrich Rd. Renamed Richard Jackson Boulevard

photo2At exactly 11:49 AM April 29th Mayor Gayle Oberst made the renaming of Beckrich Road to Richard Jackson Boulevard official, honoring the long time city manager Richard Jackson. Dozens of people were on hand, filling the parking lot outside of the Panama City Beach Chamber of Commerce building to participate in the event. At one time, three of Panama City Beach’s most recent mayors (Oberst, Phillip Griffits, and Lee Sullivan) held the stage to honor Mr. Jackson, though honoring quickly turned into a lighthearted roast drawing applause and laughter thoughout.

Beckrich Road was renamed and revamped with a 9-million dollar roadway expansion from 2 lanes to 4 lanes. For many of Panama City Beach residents, myself included, the GAC managed overhaul of Beckrich has been nothing short of successful; the intersection runs smoother and is more aesthetic with sidewalks, tropical landscaping and upgraded underground utilities paid for with the beach’s community redevelopment area (CRA) money.

Panama City Beach City Manager since 1969, after humbly accepting the honor, Richard Jackson said, “I really appreciate all the nice things that have been said about me. It’s been a job, it’s a job I’ve enjoyed. I’ve really enjoyed it, it’s been an honor. I plan on sticking around for awhile.”

Mayor Oberst also gave a nod to a future Front Beach Road and Thomas drive project to be done through the CRA. This project will overhaul South Thomas (near Alvin’s Island) and go up to Front Beach Rd. where expansions and facelifts will go westward towards Richard Jackson Boulevard and East towards the Hutchison Intersection near Ripley’s Believe it Or Not Musuem.

Click here to read more about the Panama City Beach CRA.

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!

Churchwell Road CRA Update and Pictures

The Churchwell Road CRA (Community Redevelopment Area) is pretty much done. They were painting the yellow stripes last week and painting the 127 space public parking lot yesterday. The ribbon cutting is on April 16, 2008 at 10:30 am on the new Churchwell Bridge, unless it rains, in which case it will be under a tent in the new parking lot close to Front Beach Road. More after the break.

Continue reading “Churchwell Road CRA Update and Pictures”