Panama City seeks to improve downtown

ByShannon J. Cortes

Sep 21, 2021

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) – In downtown Panama City, residents can soon expect to see major changes on Harrison Avenue.

Community members gathered Tuesday evening for a streetscape project meeting at City Hall.

Throughout the meeting, local merchants discussed with city officials what will soon become the first phase of the Harrison Avenue streetscape.

According to officials, the first phase will provide replacement, renovation or repair of the current stormwater and waste systems from Government Street to Fourth Street.

“The tree-lined pavement with a unique way of dealing with stormwater, so it has the soil cells for the water to enter the cells. It seeps into the soil, the trees will absorb a lot of But for the clean water that comes out of the bottom, it will be cleaner water dumped into the bay,” said Panama City Manager Mark McQueen.

McQueen says the city also plans to include a plaza with a historic clock tower at Fourth Street and Harrison Avenue.

A local business owner says he thinks this renovation will benefit the community.

“Community, community is what really drives people downtown. And feel like you’re part of it. And you’re invested in it and it’s your city. It’s extremely powerful, and I think people yearn for more connection to their city and shopping experiences that aren’t online. It’s not big bucks, it has a very organic, beautiful and soulful feel,” said C&G Sporting Goods Operating Partner Nate Taylor.

City officials say they will also look to add bike lanes to Beach Drive, increase lighting, signage and landscaping.

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