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  #221  
Old Posted Oct 15, 2009, 3:31 PM
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Quote:
The eastern counties have the money. But do they have the "reason"?
Mobile-Baldwin-metro Pensacola is home to something like a million residents. I have to think that counts for something.

I like the Panama City-Destin-FWB fine for a beach vacation, but they have nowhere near the permanent population base of Pensacola-Mobile, and
I'd like to think Southwest would consider that in a major way.
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  #222  
Old Posted Oct 17, 2009, 6:08 AM
Muskavon Muskavon is offline
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I do agree Druid. Heck, count me in as someone who, in a perfect world, would support digging up every airport between the Mississippi line and Panama City. Putting one big ass international airport in Northern Baldwin County. Which of course would need high speed rail from every community it serves. That would be the perfect solution, imo.

Maybe getting rid of the 5 extra "regional" airports could help fund the rail to the Gulf Coast International Awesome Airport [GCIAA] (it would certainly have "awesome" in the name...making it attractive to rednecks from Asia, the Middle East and everywhere else). Or maybe it should be called the GCI Radical Airport [GCIRA]. Either way....new business.

Beyond the silly, the point is it sucks we are all competing against each other to slice up a pie that works against us so badly win we don't win. The area badly needs an organization that tries to consolidate goals for the whole region, across county and state lines. And we do need a common airport.
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  #223  
Old Posted Oct 19, 2009, 3:19 PM
WEMO WEMO is offline
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I like the sound of that.
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  #224  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2009, 3:19 PM
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Here's an update about trying to get Southwest, the numbers seem fairly promising.

Southwest numbers
Posted 10/20/2009 7:44 PM EDT on pnj.com Prod
Carlton Proctor's Biz Blog

Here's an update on the community's Southwest Airlines initiative that's worth passing along.

First, this was the week when a delegation representing the City of Pensacola and Pensacola Gulf Coast Regional Airport were supposed to travel to Dallas and make their pitch for Southwest service.

That's been put off until next month due to scheduling conflicts. Word is that up to 10 Southwest executives wanted to be present at the meeting and you can imagine trying to accommodate that many high-powered executives' schedules.

So, don't hold your breath for any word from Southwest, at least for the next month or so. Most folks I've talked to say it will be sometime in the first quarter of next year before we hear anything.

Second, here's some impressive numbers:

Hotel owners in Escambia and Baldwin County, Ala., have pledged 94,000 and 91,000 free room nights respectively to Southwest over a three year period. Those are free rooms that Southwest can use in vacation packages and to board their flight crews overnight.

At an average of $100 per night, per room, that adds up to an astounding pledge totaling $18.6 million.

On top of that, the Pensacola Bay Area Chamber of Commerce has gathered some 2,000 plegdges from individuals, businesses and institutions promising to spend at least $10 and upwards of $50,000 on Southwest tickets just in the first year, if, and only if, the airline comes to Pensacola.

And here's the last, but not least, of the numbers I'm passing along: More than 5,000 people have signed up on the I Luv Pensacola Facebook page, supporting Southwest coming here.
Add to all of the above the fact that Pensacola's airport has nearly 10 times as many annual passengers as Panama City's airport, and more than Mobile and Fort Walton Beach's airports combined, and I think we're making Southwest an offer they can't afford to refuse.
We'll see.

http://www.pnj.com/apps/pbcs.dll/sec...Id=personaDest
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  #225  
Old Posted Nov 3, 2009, 3:53 PM
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Work begins to transform Masonic building into a business
Carlton Proctor • cproctor@pnj.com • November 3, 2009

The 111-year-old Masonic building, one of downtown Pensacola's most architecturally distinctive structures, is getting new life as a live music venue.

The transformation into The Vinyl Music Hall got under way last week. Crews went to work on the first floor of the long-vacant building at Garden Street and Palafox Place.

Vinyl is a partnership between Evan Levin, Harry Levin and Sherrod Levin, whose Levin Group owns the building, and Hopjacks Pizza Kitchen and Taproom business partners Corey Fogarty and Joe Abston.

"We live and breathe Pensacola," Fogarty said. "We wanted to do something that would add to the quality of life in the downtown area."

The $500,000 project is scheduled for completion by the end of February, and Vinyl is expected to open for business by early March.

The new venue will feature a 75-foot-long bar, a 20-by-20-foot stage and a seating capacity of nearly 400, according to Fogarty. It will not offer food services.

Evan Levin said the hall will feature some of the top live music acts in the country.

"A lot of these groups are passing right through Pensacola on their way to South Florida, or from South Florida to New Orleans," he said.

Pensacola-based Vision Construction Entity Co. is doing the renovations.
Abston said Vinyl is expected to create between 30 and 40 full-time jobs once it opens.

Plans for the second and third floors of the building are not settled. A mix of residential and professional office space is being considered, Evan Levin said.

Vinyl will join a growing downtown music scene, recently boosted by the addition of Blazzues, a jazz and blues club at Palafox and Intendencia. Last month, The Ready Room, another live music venue, opened on the ground floor of Will Call sports bar at 22 Palafox Place.



link: http://pnj.com/article/20091103/BUSI...nto-a-business
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  #226  
Old Posted Dec 18, 2009, 1:08 PM
Muskavon Muskavon is offline
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New downtown library supposedly to start construction Sept next year. Nice touch showing the stupid water tower in the background of the rendering, lol.

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  #227  
Old Posted Dec 18, 2009, 5:14 PM
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Haha, yeah I saw the water tower in the rendering and was like what the heck. The downtown library is definitely in need of help, though. I was amazed to see that $1 million of the funding is leftover from the recently constructed Tyron Branch library, because in actually came in under budget.
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  #228  
Old Posted Dec 26, 2009, 6:51 PM
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Here's a few pictures that I took downtown on Wednesday night (12-23) at about 9pm.







One of the many decorated storefronts, this one is Jeweler's Trade Shop.


Another decorated storefront, this one is Distinctive Kitchens.




Some pretty good music was coming from here.




Some fairly large ships at the port.


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  #229  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2010, 8:55 PM
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A possible new huge development to happen in the future, here's a few excerpts from the article.

Quote:
Plan could bring new city to West Escambia
16,000 acres being eyed for development has potential to be major economic engine
Carlton Proctor • cproctor@pnj.com • January 10, 2010

It's big, it's bold and it's very ambitious.

And if the overall vision comes together as planned, a large-scale community that includes an industrial park, homes for those who work in the park, and retail businesses will emerge in western Escambia County.

A group of Pensacola developers and land owners is taking the first steps toward development of a contiguous 16,000-acre tract that's north of Interstate 10 and runs about eight miles north between Beulah Road and U.S. 29.

The project has the potential to further transform the entire Beulah area, which has already been bolstered in the past few years by the development of Navy Federal Credit Union's Heritage Oaks campus.

But don't hold your breath; at best, it will be many years and millions of dollars in the making.
Full Article: http://www.pnj.com/article/20100110/...-West-Escambia
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  #230  
Old Posted Jan 13, 2010, 6:41 PM
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Here's a few more things going on around the area.

Quote:
ECUA plant progress exceeds expectations
New facility more than 80 percent complete
Jamie Page • jepage@pnj.com • January 11, 2010

The massive — and much anticipated — Central Water Reclamation Facility in Cantonment is more than 80 percent complete.

It's $8 million under budget, on time and set to be complete by August, two years from its start date.

In a down economy, where jobs are precious, 10 companies have 200 employees helping to build the Emerald Coast Utilities Authority's new plant, said Scott Jernigan, a design engineer with Baskerville-Donovan, which provides engineering services for the project.

At $320 million, relocating the malodorous Main Street Wastewater Treatment Plant from downtown Pensacola was the sixth biggest construction project under way in Florida when it began in August 2008, project manager David Carr said

Full Article: http://www.pnj.com/apps/pbcs.dll/art...ID=20101110313

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Less turbulent 2010 expected for airport
2009 was bumpy ride for facility
Carlton Proctor • cproctor@pnj.com • January 10, 2010

The signs are promising with Melinda Crawford appointed airport director last month after eight months as interim director, a $35 million terminal expansion project expected to be complete by November, and an anticipated upsurge in daily flights.

If all the new routes are approved and schedules are locked in, the number of flights out of Pensacola will increase from 70 to 80 a day.

• United Airlines is expected to launch twice-daily, nonstop flights to Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 11.

• United plans to start weekend, nonstop service to Chicago shortly after that.

• Later in the spring, pending Department of Transportation approval, US Airways plans on launching nonstop jet service to Reagan International Airport in the nation's capital.

• Also in the late spring, American Eagle, a subsidiary of American Airlines, will begin offering nonstop service to Miami.

Full article: http://www.pnj.com/article/20100110/...ed-for-airport
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  #231  
Old Posted Jan 15, 2010, 4:19 PM
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Design firm selected for the multi-use stadium at the Maritime Park. The company "Populous" was formerly HOK Sport, which has designed many stadiums around the world.

Quote:
Top firm to design Maritime Park's stadium
From staff reports • January 15, 2010

The development team for the Community Maritime Park has selected one of the country's top stadium designers to design the multiuse stadium at the Maritime Park.

Maritime Park Development Partners has selected Populous, the same architectural firm that designed the New York Yankees new baseball field.

Mark X. White, MPDP's executive vice president of design and construction, said Populous has extensive experience designing similar multipurpose facilities. The firm is part of a $160 million mixed-use development in downtown Fort Wayne, Ind.

The firm plans to begin construction in summer 2010 and to have the multipurpose stadium substantially completed in 2011, said Martin DiNitto, associate principal with the company who will serve as project manager on the local effort.

MPDP officials say they're committed to ensuring that local firms participate in Pensacola's waterfront park project.

Two Pensacola companies, Joe DeRueil Associates and Schmidt Consulting Group, are included on the stadium team and each will have major roles working closely with Populous on the design.

They will provide structural, mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineering services.
Link: http://www.pnj.com/article/20100115/NEWS01/1150327
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  #232  
Old Posted Jan 17, 2010, 1:42 PM
willicr willicr is offline
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Cool shot from inside Civic Center

While this has nothing to do with new construction or anything, I wanted to post a cool shot from inside the Pensacola Civic Center. Someone posted it on Flickr and i thought it was awesome.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/3656632...01908/sizes/l/
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  #233  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2010, 3:22 PM
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^ That is a really great photo from inside the Civic Center.

Quote:
Sacred Heart dedicates new Cancer Center
Medical facility slated to open on Monday
Thyrie Bland • tbland@pnj.com • January 28, 2010

The $31.5 million Sacred Heart Cancer Center, adjacent to the Sacred Heart Medical Park on Airport Boulevard, will open for patients on Monday.

"The Cancer Center is evidence of our commitment to raise the standard of cancer care and help our patients and their loved ones overcome this disease," Laura Kaiser, president and CEO of Sacred Heart, said during a dedication ceremony on Wednesday.

The hospital's cancer services will be consolidated in the four-story, 95,000-square-foot building. It includes:

An outpatient chemotherapy unit with private rooms and semi-private areas
for treatment of up to 35 patients.

A radiation oncology unit.

Lab and pharmacy services.

Patient education and support services.

Offices for the Sacred Heart Medical Oncology Group specialists.

Full Article:http://www.pnj.com/article/20100128/...-Cancer-Center

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  #234  
Old Posted Feb 18, 2010, 3:40 PM
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Here's a big new restaurant/marina/souvenir store/etc. opening on the beach soon.

Quote:
Grand Marlin lands on Pensacola Beach
New restaurant to employ 100
Kimberly Blair • kblair@pnj.com • February 15, 2010

The newest restaurant on Pensacola Beach won't open for another month, but it's already making an impact on the beach.

"People judge you from their first impressions. And what a first impression it makes on the beach. The building is beautiful," Jeff Elbert, president of the Pensacola Beach Chamber of Commerce, said about the The Grand Marlin.

The Santa Rosa Sound-front restaurant with its Caribbean-American-style architecture, turquoise shutters, lush landscaping and decorative lampposts has vastly improved the eye-appeal of the gateway to the beach.

The $8-million building was designed by Phillip Partington of Pensacola-based Spencer Maxwell Bullock Architects. It's built at the foot of Bob Sikes Bridge on the former site of Boy on the Dolphin restaurant. Hurricane Ivan destroyed that restaurant in 2004; one year after Coconuts by the Sea took it over.
The property sat in a sad state until builder Philip Napier and five partners decided in 2008 to build the restaurant.

On March 22, The Grand Marlin will host a grand opening celebration.
Bryan Housley, president and general manger of the restaurant, said the event will showcase, "The Grand Marlin experience with live music, top-quality service, fresh-from-the-docks seafood and other innovative cuisine from sandwiches to chef-driven entrees."

Housley was brought in from Atlanta to create a destination restaurant for birthdays and other celebrations.

"It will be a comfortable place to retreat and enjoy high-quality food along with a spectacular view of the Santa Rosa Sound," he said.
Elbert, who was given a private tour of the restaurant and peek at the menu, says he's impressed with he fact the beach is getting a restaurant of this caliber in these tough economic times.

"I have to commend them," he said of the owners. "They're brave. And they've done everything first-rate. They're a great addition to the beach."
The restaurant has created 100 new jobs at a time when other restaurants are closing or scaling back.

Beach resident Suzanne Young said she's been encouraging her 20-year-old son to apply.

"I'm really anxious for it to open," she said. "It's bringing lots of jobs. It's neat, clean and modern looking. It was money well spent on the beach
Santa Rosa Island Authority Executive Director W. A. "Buck" Lee said adding to the curb-appeal, The Grand Marlin purchased for $600,000 a swath of vacant land from the Island Authority to expand its parking lot. The land was nothing more than sand and scrubby vegetation. Now it's cleaned and landscaped.

Under the purchase agreement, Lee said some of the parking spaces are reserved for employees working at the nearby Bob Sikes Bridge tollbooth, a move that helps alleviate employee-parking problems on the beach.
Once it opens, The Grand Marlin will seat 300 customers with an inside dining room and an outside deck.

Other features: an oyster bar, the North Drop Bar; private meeting rooms; and a Ship's Store stocked with special-label sauces, one-of-a-kind apparel and art by renowned marine artist Steve Goione and Maui Jim sunglasses.
Executive Chef Gregg McCarthy, an award-winning chef recruited from Murphy's Restaurant in Atlanta's Virginia Highlands, has created a menu with a range of options including sandwiches, local oysters, hand-cut steaks and chef specialties such as Bahamian conch chowder, blackened and lightly fried seafood, and ribs with Guava barbecue sauce.

The Grand Marlin, Housely said, will cater to everyone. "We want everyone to feel welcome here," he said. "Whether you're in flip-flops or out celebrating a special occasion."
Article: http://www.pnj.com/article/20100215/...ensacola-Beach

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  #235  
Old Posted Feb 18, 2010, 3:44 PM
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Some more good news, hopefully they're successful.

Quote:
Gulf Breeze Zoo is open
Gulf Breeze tourist attraction offers more hands-on exhibits
Kimberly Blair • kblair@pnj.com • February 18, 2010

The Gulf Breeze Zoo reopened its doors at 9 a.m. today.

Today, no one was waiting to enter the zoo when the doors opened.

Kayte Wanko, general curator, says visitors will find more hands-on exhibits, many of the same animals that were there before and a lot of new faces.
"We have two Indian crested porcupines, Parma wallabies, and there are water buffalo calves in the petting area," Wanko said about some of the new zoo animals.

The petting zoo also is filled with goats, pot-bellied pigs and a donkey.
"We're very hands-on focused," she said. "We really like to get folks up close and personal with the animals. A lot of places zookeepers will be doing talks about animals throughout the day."

Formerly known as The Zoo Northwest Florida, the 25-year-old facility closed in August because of financial problems precipitated by damage from Hurricane Ivan in 2004 and Hurricane Dennis the next year.

In December, Eric Mogensen bought the zoo from the local owner, Animal Park Inc. Mogensen also owns Virginia Safari Park in Natural Bridge, Va., and Reston Zoo near Washington, D.C.

Pat Quinn, founder of The Zoo Northwest Florida, stayed on as the director of media relations.

"We're having a soft opening now, and we're going to have a major grand opening around the first of April, and that will be a big to-do," he said.
He's eager for zoo visitors to return and see the improvements, including a new gift shop, picnic pavilion and spruced-up grounds.
The zoo features about 600 to 700 animals, "not counting bats and fish," Quinn said.

The former zoo advertised 1,400 animals, but 700 of those were bats and 300 were reptiles, Quinn said. The reptile population has been thinned, he said.
The orangutan family and the zoo's former mascot, Larry the Lion, are gone. Larry died of old age. The orangutans were on loan and sent back to their owners when the zoo closed in August.

Improvements on the zoo will continue in preparation for the grand opening.
The Depot concession stand has not yet reopened, but Wanko said refreshments, including ice cream, chips and soda, are available in the gift shop.

Kate Wilkes, executive director of the Santa Rosa County Tourist Development Council, said the zoo's reopening is good news for tourism.
"The zoo is one of our main tourist attractions," she said. "We missed it the whole time it was gone."

She said she can't wait to take her 17-month-old grandson to the zoo.
"He was too young to go when it was open before," she said. "I'm going to take him this weekend. I'm going to buy a family membership. And I hope everyone will support these new owners."
Article: http://www.pnj.com/article/20100218/NEWS01/2180318
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  #236  
Old Posted Feb 27, 2010, 3:08 PM
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Some news about the maritime park...

Quote:
Maritime Park developer awarded GC ability
Posted 2/26/2010 7:27 PM EST
Page's notebook


There was some forward movement on the Community Maritime Park project today.

The development team for the park — Maritime Park Development Partners — was awarded the ability to be the general contractor, which was not automatic.

The Community Maritime Park Associates voted 7-3 to approve MPDP being the general contractor at today's meeting.

Now a design-build contract must be negotiated between the developer and the city so work can begin on the actual environmental remediation and construction of the park.

The developer’s original schedule was to have that contract approved by the City Council by March 18, when construction was expected to begin.

“We are probably six weeks out from construction if a design-build contract can be done by then,”.
said developer Scott Davison, a partner with MPDP."Probably mid-April."

Meanwhile, the developer must get bonding for the project within the next two weeks to meet the deadline for the criteria of one of the main investors in the New Market Tax Credits, said Ed Gray, who is administering the credits.

Now that the development team has secured the general contractor position, it will begin rolling out its advertising campaign to promote the park, said park spokeswoman Jane Birdwell, whose firm handles the park’s public relations and advertising for the development team.

It recently aired a television commercial to remind people that the park is within two years of completion.

link: http://www.pnj.com/apps/pbcs.dll/sec...Id=personaDest
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  #237  
Old Posted Mar 1, 2010, 6:35 PM
RobbiePowell94 RobbiePowell94 is offline
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Hi! I found this forum by googling fvcrew22. I've been getting into Google Earth and I noticed there's 5 buildings from Pensacola modeled in Google Earth by a fvcrew22. Are you the same one?

If so, I'd like to join ya and maybe we can collaborate on doing some modelling of the area. I'm planning on starting with the NAS myself, but I wanted to check in with you and see if you're the same one?

I apologize if this isn't a good place to make contact.
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  #238  
Old Posted Mar 3, 2010, 4:07 AM
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Hey, I'm the same fvcrew22, I just made the buildings a couple of weeks ago. I sent you a pm.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobbiePowell94 View Post
Hi! I found this forum by googling fvcrew22. I've been getting into Google Earth and I noticed there's 5 buildings from Pensacola modeled in Google Earth by a fvcrew22. Are you the same one?

If so, I'd like to join ya and maybe we can collaborate on doing some modelling of the area. I'm planning on starting with the NAS myself, but I wanted to check in with you and see if you're the same one?

I apologize if this isn't a good place to make contact.
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  #239  
Old Posted Mar 21, 2010, 9:33 PM
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This is great news, it's great to see a forward thinking resident get this whole thing going! Hopefully we'll see more things like this in the future.

Quote:
Port finds new anchor
New maritime contract bringing welcome business to port, downtown
Carlton Proctor • cproctor@pnj.com • March 21, 2010

On his daily commute from Gulf Breeze to his downtown Pensacola restaurant, Buddy McCormick couldn't help but notice something big missing from the Port of Pensacola.

Namely, ships.

As a former top executive in the maritime industry, the port's nearly empty docks during much of 2008 and 2009 not only stirred McCormick's imagination but also his business savvy.

"Going back and forth to Gulf Breeze, I kept thinking 'What a great location that is for a port,' " he said. "It would be a great spot for deepwater support boats because it's so close to the Gulf."

And, as a downtown investor, McCormick knew what's good for the port would be good for his business, Ragtyme Grill, and many others in the downtown area.

So, in early 2009, McCormick contacted his former company, Offshore Inland Marine and Oilfield Services of Mobile, and got its executives talking with port Director Clyde Mathis.

Offshore is a supplier of repair, upgrade and modification services for offshore drilling platforms. After lengthy negotiations, Mathis and company officials agreed to a year-long lease, which began in December.

The result has been the berthing of four large ocean-going supply ships at the port.

And to say they've been a much-needed shot in the arm for port revenues — hit hard by the sharp economic downturn of the past 18 months — would be an understatement.

"What really excites me about Offshore is the job creation and economic impact it is having on Pensacola," Mathis said. "At the port we're as much about creating job and economic impact as anything else."

Mathis is working on a long-term contract he hopes to send to the City Council next month.

Pensacola City Councilman P.C. Wu, chairman of the Enterprise Operations Committee, which oversees the port, said the Offshore contract appears to be a "win-win" for the port and the city.

"It's bringing in high wages, and the crews are spending money in hotels, restaurants and businesses downtown," Wu said. "I think it's wonderful for the port, and wonderful for the city."

Article continued: http://www.pnj.com/article/20100321/...nds-new-anchor

Picture from PNJ:
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  #240  
Old Posted Apr 19, 2010, 9:33 PM
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Some more news about the new port tenant, sounds like a good investment to me.

Quote:
City offers $150,000 for port customer
Mark O'Brien's O'pinions
Posted 4/19/2010 11:58 AM EDT on pnj.com

The City of Pensacola is offering $150,000 as an incentive for a company to do more business at the port.
The money will come from the Community Redevelopment Agency and encourage Offshore Inland Marine to become a more permanent part of the port, where it has been a tenant since last year.
One quirk: Offshore makes its money servicing the offshore oil and gas industry, and the City Council has opposed offshore drilling.
Oh, well.
Offshore Inland and the port have tentatively agreed on a two-year lease that will generate $340,0000 to $550,000 a year for the city-owned facility.
The City Council will discuss the proposals today. Committee meetings begin at 1:30 at City Hall.
Since mid-December, four vessels have come to the port for Offshore Inland's Service Center and stayed "extended periods," according to a memo from City Manager Al Coby. The visits generate lots of economic activity: dozens of people working at the port, more than 250 hotel room nights for contractors, and 140 passengers using Pensacola-Gulf Coast Regional Airport, just to mention some of the expenditures.
Coby says the $150,000 in economic incentives makes sense since the port is part of the downtown area served by the CRA.

http://www.pnj.com/apps/pbcs.dll/sec...Id=personaDest
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