The City of Panama City, Bay County's County Seat, is the third largest City in the Florida Panhandle - behind the Cities of Pensacola and Tallahassee. Nestled along the shores of St. Andrew Bay, it is the namesake for the Panama City-Lynn Haven-Panama City Beach Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) with a population of 37,489 people. Within the MSA, there are 192,000 people, according to the 2015 Estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. It centers around Port Panama City, Gulf Coast State College, Florida State University - Panama City Campus, and five hospitals: Gulf Coast Medical Center, Bay Medical - Sacred Heart, Emerald Coast Behavioral Hospital, HealthSouth and Select Specialty Hospital. Additionally, there are several older communities which comprise the city: St. Andrews, Millville, and Glendale. It was founded in 1909 and contains Highways 98, 231, 77 and 390.
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With a majority of our leadership being business men, the Panama City - City Commission and Mayor are pro-growth. The City has seen its position as the main community to locate retailers into decrease with the Pier Park Shopping Center in Panama City Beach, over the last decade. The City of Panama City has worked to reduce it's permit timeframe while expediting plans review times. The City welcomes opportunities for development and are eager to assist developers who are anxious to invest here.
Current and Future Development
The Downtown Marina Redevelopment Project: Several years ago, the City obtained clear title from the State of Florida to the land that contains the City Hall, an old library, Civic Center and Downtown Marina. The property is comprised of 20 acres plus and is located at end of Harrison Avenue on St. Andrew Bay. The City has been negotiating with developers about various uses and the hope is that an agreement will be forthcoming on the redevelopment of this property. Tentative discussions have referenced a hotel, condominiums/apartment, retail shops, restaurants and expanded marina space.
Bay City Point - the conversion of the old Hawkins Junkyard, a 35 acre site across the street from the Panama City Mall, into a shopping center complex with 6 to 9 outparcels. The site is adjacent to Highway 77 and 23rd Street, the two busiest roadways in the City.