A crew works on the T-dock at the Panama City Marina earlier this fall. ANDREW WARDLOW/NEWS HERALD FILE PHOTO
Posted Dec 15, 2016 at 6:53 PM
Panama City gets financial plans for marina
The financing proposal, delivered late Thursday, outlines what Sonnenblick Development believes is financially feasible for the project and offers to invest a substantial sum in the city, according to City Manager Jeff Brown.
By Katie Landeck | 522-5114 | @PCNHKatieL | firstname.lastname@example.org
PANAMA CITY – The developer for the Panama City Marina project has sent the project’s financing proposal to the city, meeting its deadline on the nose.
The financing proposal, delivered late Thursday, outlines what Sonnenblick Development believes is financially feasible for the project and offers to invest a substantial sum in the city, according to City Manager Jeff Brown. It also marks the beginning of serious negotiations between city leaders and developers about what will be built.
“We’ve been talking in generalities with Sonnenblick about things they want to do,” Brown said. “Now we’re at the point we’re looking at the business side, and the question is, ‘What can they do?'”
In this upcoming phase, it will become clear how much money the city will be expected to pay for the project, what the impact will be on existing infrastructure, what will happen with existing boat slip renters and what actually will be built.
The proposal was not made available to The News Herald late Thursday, as it was submitted after the city’s business hours.
Brown cautioned it will take the city weeks to fully analyze the proposal, emphasizing it’s not a done deal. The analysis will look at how the project could generate growth for the city, how it fits into the long-term vision for the downtown and whether it meets citizens’ needs.
The city commissioners plan to talk about the proposal at upcoming meetings and then hold a separate public workshop once they have a better understanding of the plans.
“Before we make a decision, before we vote on anything, we are going to bring it to the public,” Mayor Greg Brudnicki said. “We are going to say, ‘We think this is good; what do you think.’ ”
The financing proposal also will be made available on the city’s website, www.pcgov.org, under the section for public comments.
“We all feel it is important to get public input,” Commissioner John Kady said.
The original designs, which repeatedly have been called a rough draft, included a lighthouse, carnival area, dry boat storage, two hotels and much more. Many of the items, such as the dry boat storage, have faced scrutiny from commissioners.
Until the financing proposal is released, it’s unclear how the feedback from commissioners might have changed the design.