Panama City leaders finally took steps forward with the city marina project at Tuesday’s Commission meeting. The developer, Sonnenblick Development LLC, presented commissioners with a rough outline of what the marina might look like when the project is complete.

“I was never satisfied with anything that we had looked at in the past and I see something here that’s going to be attractive, that’s going to lure people to come to our marina,” said Panama City Mayor Greg Brudnicki.

At the commission meeting, Sonnenblick presented city leaders with businesses that are already interested in investing.

“Marriott Corporation has come back to us and said they absolutely love this project,” said Sonnenblick Development LLC President Robert Sonnenblick.

The hotel would be around 160 to 175 rooms, geared toward families.

“Marriott came back very positive for this property and that is kind of our anchor tenant, if you will, for the project and we’re very excited about that,” said Sonnenblick.

Plans also show a row of water front restaurants.

“Big patios, overlooking the water and a very exciting group that will draw people to this project,” said Sonnenblick.

There was also talk about a water taxi shuttle, multiple parking garages, retail, and converting the city hall building into a family entertainment center.

“This creates an ambiance downtown that can release the potential of the rest of downtown,” said Brudnicki.

“We’re excited to have you guys interested in our property. Panama City and the St. Andrews area are a great place,” said Panama City Commissioner Mike Nichols.

Although commissioners are excited about these plans, nothing Sonnenblick presented is concrete quite yet.

“This is nothing but a plan view with stuff on it. Preliminary, and so there’s plenty of time for input and changes and that sort of thing,” said Panama City Commissioner John Kady.

Sonnenblick will be presenting the commission with hard numbers and plans at their November meeting.

Panama City commissioners move forward with early plans for city marina project

Larissa Scott

By Larissa Scott |