County To Sign Real Estate Closing, Panama City-Bay County International Airport


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County To Sign Real Estate Closing, Panama City-Bay County International Airport

By Eddy Metcalf

February 7, 2012 - This week Bay County official’s in Florida will be singing the real estate closing of Panama City-Bay County International Airport (PFN) to make room to build a commercial residential park on this 700 acre parcel. 

Panama City-Bay County International Airport is located about four miles northwest of the central business district of Panama City, in Bay County, Florida. It was owned and operated by the Panama City-Bay County Airport and Industrial District. 

The developer and owner of this property, St. Andrew Bay Land Company, a subsidiary of Leucadia Financial Corp will remove the runways and airport buildings and it will be replaced with shops, homes, walking trails and a marina. 

Back in 2007, LUK-MB1 LLC, purchased Panama City-Bay County International Airport for $56.5 million and on May 22, 2010, all commercial airline services at the airport were relocated to the new Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport. However the airfield remained opened to service general aviation aircraft until October 1, 2010. 

In May 2009, JPMorgan Chase Bank filed foreclosure proceedings against LUK-MB1 LLC, which is run by McCaffery Interests Inc. and Leucadia Financial Corp., for defaulting on a $105 million loan that involved a 370,000 square feet mixed-use, retail and residential development in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. 

Vice President of St. Andrew Bay Land Company, Bill Cunningham submitted comprehensive plans for the development of Panama City-Bay County International Airport. He stated "This is really the first large scale, community master plan that's been done in Panama City. What we think separates this project from other projects that have been contemplated is it's got five miles of bay frontage." 

In 1995, the airport went through an extensive development program, demolishing their old terminal building and constructing a new 55,573-square-foot facility with six gate areas, two equipped with jetbridges. Additional enhancements to the terminal included concession areas, a passenger hold room, airline ticketing counters and office space, airport administration offices, public and rental car parking lots, and an expanded terminal apron.

In 2006, Panama City-Bay County International Airport had 88,059 aircraft operations, an average of 241 per day: 72% general aviation, 13% air taxi (11,080), 10% military and 5% scheduled commercial. At that time there were 160 aircraft based at this airport: 58% single-engine, 18% multi-engine, 9% jet and 15% helicopter. The Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport replaced the Panama City-Bay County International Airport due to it having no room to further expand.

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