Pensacola, Florida
Tuesday August 14th 2018

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New Year, New Stuff

A current snapshot of Pensacola’s development boom
By Rick Outzen and Brooke Webber

From the steady sound of hammering on the new Pensacola Bay Bridge to the cranes that dot the skyline downtown, it seems like construction is happening just about everywhere in Pensacola.

That growth and progress isn’t showing any sign of stopping in 2018. In fact, more projects could be on the horizon. Dee Dee Davis, executive vice president of NAI Halford, said Nashville developers see Pensacola as an emerging market.

“Finally, we are getting legitimate out-of-state developers interested in Pensacola,” she told Inweekly. “Nashville developers are making inquiries because the players are sensing that market may be nearing saturation.”

Much of the growth, except for the bridge, is coming from private investors. Inweekly met with developers, architects and realtors to pull together this update on the various projects either near completion, under construction or almost off the drawing board.

DEVELOPMENT DETAILS
Southtowne Apartments and Urban Core Office Building
It might be hard to gauge the progress from walking by, but renters have officially begun moving into the Southtowne Apartments on the side closest to Tarragona Street.

“We had a bunch of move-ins during one week of December,” said Quint Studer on “Pensacola Speaks” last Wednesday. “Somewhere around the third or fourth week of January, they’ll release another 50 apartments for occupancy.”

He added, “What we’re really trying to do is get the courtyard done by the end of this month or early February.”

Studer said Southtowne will have two restaurants and three retail spaces. Urban Core will have one restaurant on the ground floor.

He said, “It’s sort of neat, too, because they’re three very distinctly different restaurants and one of them is a relocation in Pensacola. One of them is a relocation from Gulf Breeze into Pensacola. That’s sort of unique. The other one is a brand new pretty high-end restaurant. That’s great for this community.”

One Palafox Place
Bobby Switzer, managing member of One Palafox Place, said everything is rented on the ground floor of the new mixed-use community except for one 1,000 square-foot space on Palafox in the breezeway.

“Everything is pretty much rented,” Switzer said. “Downstairs there is Bluejay’s Bakery, Fiore, Wilfrid’s Barber and Fine Goods, Gray Boutique and Frios Pops that just opened. Plus the Armored Frog has a furniture showroom with custom handcrafted pieces.”

Switzer said new places still to come include Constant Coffee and Tea (who is starting their space’s renovations), Global Grill’s a new restaurant called Urban Swinery (which will have a global concept to their food, wine and beer), Ride Society (which will offer spinning), and Express Mobile Tech (a phone repair store). There are also plans for a new bar and restaurant.

Switzer said the first and third floors of the building that once housed Virginia College will have Trustmark Bank and Fisher Brown Bottrell Insurance.

Galveztown
You might have noticed that old YMCA is no longer standing on North Palafox. In its place will soon be Galveztown—which will include residential lots, a restaurant space and office building.

Developer Fred Gunter told Inweekly that the public will see progress at his Galveztown development within the next few weeks.

“We have contracted with Gulf Power to convert the site to underground utilities, so the power poles and overhead lines on site will soon be gone,” he said. “Upon completion, which Gulf Power has estimated at four-six weeks, we will be ready to begin selling the lots.”

The underground utilities will allow the reduction of prices for nine residential lots to the $165,000 to $175,000 range.

“In addition, we are offering a construction incentive of $20,000 to the first four buyers to close on their lot and commence construction within six months,” said Gunther.

The Warfield
Another mixed-use development, The Warfield, in the Seville Historic District on the corner of Intendencia and Alcaniz streets, is also set to begin construction this spring.

Larry Kuhn of Levin Rinke Resort Realty told Inweekly that three of the eight residential units have been reserved and the four commercial spots have been accounted for as well.

“The timeline is we begin demolition of the old building in March this year,” said Kuhn. “Once that comes down, we plan to begin construction. The project is estimated to take about 12 months to complete.”

IRIS
Dalrymple | Sallis Architecture is working on several projects and the renovation of the old Isis Theater location is one of them.

In March, Intelligent Retinal Imaging Systems (IRIS) will move into the second floor of the building on the northeast corner of Garden and Palafox streets, above the Pensacola News Journal.

Scott Sallis talked with Inweekly about the history of the building, which once housed the Isis Theater.

According to the Florida Department of State archives, the building was built in 1914 by two Atlanta developers and housed a theater until 1951 when it was purchased by First Building Corporation and leased as the headquarters of the First Bank & Trust Company of Pensacola.

“Sadly during the many renovations, they covered up some of the beautiful work on the ceiling,” said Sallis. “We have uncovered much of it. This will be a very cool office space.”

University of West Florida
The University of West Florida Hal Marcus College of Science and Engineering recently broke ground on a Laboratory Sciences Annex, which will be connected to the Life Sciences Laboratory on the Pensacola campus to provide additional space for classroom and wet research lab needs.

The $26.26 million, state-of-the-art facility, comprising 52,790 gross square feet, is being designed by local architecture firm Caldwell Associates and Perkins+Will, a global firm with a specialty in higher education science and technology. It will house 12 new teaching facilities for the University’s growing biology and chemistry programs.

Based on this semester’s headcount, more than 1,000 students in biology, biomedical sciences, chemistry and marine biology will be able to utilize the new facility once it is completed around  summer 2019. In addition to space, the facility will provide necessary technology upgrades and continued enhancement of the high-quality, hands-on educational experiences provided to STEM students at UWF.

“We are very excited about the new biology and chemistry teaching laboratories and the impact they will have on the quality of the educational experience for STEM students at UWF,” said Dr. Michael Huggins, dean of the Hal Marcus College of Science and Engineering. “The Annex will allow for better engagement of students in a variety of laboratory experiences that will enhance student recruitment, retention and graduation rates.”

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RESTAURANT ROUNDUP
Because keeping up with new places to eat really is the best part of keeping up with real estate in general.

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