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The Annual Real Estate Issue

NEW DEVELOPMENTS Building the Community Forward

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TIPS FOR FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYERS

GREEN INVESTMENTS

SUSTAINABLE + ECO-FRIENDLY INVESTING

2021 | nwflbusinessclimate.com

CONSTRUCTION AHEAD: 12 INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENTS


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CONTENTS 5G TECH EXPANDS TO PENSACOLA

11

TIPS FOR FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYERS

17

Citizens are divided on 5G towers going up around Pensacola.

Local Realtor Thomas Leemon offers tips for buying your first home.

OWNER Malcolm Ballinger

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PUBLISHER Malcolm Ballinger malcolm@ballingerpublishing.com EXECUTIVE EDITOR Kelly Oden kelly@ballingerpublishing.com

CONSTRUCTION AHEAD: 12 INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENTS COMING SOON 21

ART DIRECTOR Guy Stevens guy@ballingerpublishing.com

From updated streetscapes and park improvements to storm water retention and a major downtown revitalization project, Pensacola is getting a glow up.

26

INVESTING IN A GREENER TOMORROW: SUSTAINABLE AND ECO-FRIENDLY INVESTING 26 Local financial advisors offer tips for keeping your investments green.

EDITOR Gina Castro ginac@ballingerpublishing.com ASSISTANT EDITOR Dakota Parks dakota@ballingerpublishing.com

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NEW DEVELOPMENTS: BUILDING THE COMMUNITY FORWARD 33

EDITORIAL INTERNS Jessie Gann Fiama Mastrangelo Sky Rivera

COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE OUTLOOK 46

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Drew Buchanan DeeDee Davis John David Ellis Thomas Leemon

RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE OUTLOOK 48

SALES & MARKETING Paula Rode, Account Executive paula@ballingerpublishing.com

THE IMPORTANCE OF PRESERVATION 52

Becky Hildebrand, Account Executive becky@ballingerpublishing.com

A roundup of commercial, residential and mixed use projects in the works. Commercial realtor DeeDee Davis gives an overview of the local commercial real estate sector.

Realtor John David Ellis examines Pensacola’s booming housing market. Drew Buchanan makes the case for historic preservation.

AROUND THE REGION

46

GRAPHIC DESIGNER | AD COORDINATOR Garrett Hallbauer garrett@ballingerpublishing.com

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314 N Spring St | Pensacola, FL 32501 850.433.1166 | fax: 850.435.9174 BallingerPublishing.com

On the cover: Bayview Community Center, photographed by Greg Riegler 8 | Business Climate | 2021 / 2022 Annual Real Estate

NW Florida’s Business Climate Magazine and Pensacola Magazine is locally owned and operated. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction or use of the contents herein is prohibited without written permission from the publisher. Comments and opinions expressed in this magazine represent the personal views of the individuals to whom they are attributed and/or the person identified as the author of the article, and they are not necessarily those of the publisher. This magazine accepts no responsibility for these opinions. The publisher reserves the right to edit all manuscripts. All advertising information is the responsibility of the individual advertiser. Appearance in this magazine does not necessarily reflect endorsement of any products or services by Ballinger Publishing. © 2021


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5G TECH EXPANDS TO PENSACOLA by Dakota Parks

In the era of Zoom calls and working from home, stable and reliable internet connection is more important than ever. Pensacola has become one of the latest cities to receive the next generation of wireless network technology to connect residential homes and businesses alike. Two major carriers, Verizon and AT&T, have begun installing cell towers to bring the 5G network to the Pensacola region. 5G boasts low latency and speeds that are up to 25 times faster than 4G LTE. In March 2021, Verizon announced a rollout of 5G Ultra Wideband in three major cities: Pensacola; Sacramento, California; and Seattle, Washington. The introduction of this network with a higher bandwidth for faster upload and download speeds opens a wide variety of benefits including streaming 4K video in seconds, seamless VR experiences, advances in remote medicine and even the prospect of adjusting traffic flow in real time. Business Climate has gathered the most up-to-date information on the 5G rollout to see how the technology will advance Pensacola’s business and residential life.

Currently, around 2,700+ cities across America are connected to Verizon’s 5G Nationwide network, including Pensacola, and 35 cities are now connected to the 5G Ultra Wideband network. Deploying this new 5G technology requires new infrastructure called small cells, which generate less power while collecting and transmitting signals in a short range from one another. Carriers building superfast 5G networks must install hundreds of small cell sites to light poles, walls or towers, often in relatively small proximity to one another. Although 5G offers faster data speeds and better reliability than 4G LTE, not all 5G functions the same. For example, Verizon offers 5G Nationwide, which utilizes a low-band spectrum whose technology lets 5G service run simultaneously with 4G LTE on multiple spectrum bands. Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network utilizes a high-band, ultra-wide millimeter-wave spectrum to deliver even faster 5G service. This millimeter wave spectrum refers to high frequency bands—specifically, those in the 28 GHz to 38 GHz range. Utilizing both technologies allows Verizon to expand service and utilize its full portfolio of current spectrum resources to serve both 4G and 5G customers. Those making the switch to 5G will require some updated technology in the home and office. For 5G mobility, customers will need a 5G-compatible smartphone or mobile hotspot and those switching to 5G home and 5G business internet will requires a 5G gateway. According to Diana Alvear, the south area consumer media relations for Verizon, the new 5G technology will revolutionize how businesses interact with their customers, track inventory, manage operations and engage with their workforce. “5G offers a truly next generational experience over 4G LTE with the ability to provide much faster data speeds and carry a massive amount of data for simultaneous users,” she explained. “People in high density areas – like airports, stadiums or urban areas – will see dramatic improvements in speeds and latency even if many devices are connected to the network at the same time. 5G also brings new capabilities including connecting millions of smart devices as well as replacing your wired home broadband connection.”

»

nwflbusinessclimate.com | Business Climate | 11


∙∙ The Verizon coverage map

shows the rollout of 5G Ultra Wideband through areas of downtown Pensacola and Cordova mall.

High density areas are among the first on the list to receive 5G connection in Pensacola, as cell sites have gone up predominantly along portions of downtown Pensacola between A street and 19 Avenue and parts of East Hill, around Cordova Mall and the Pensacola International Airport, as well as parts of Gulf Breeze and Pensacola Beach. According to the City of Pensacola’s 5G Small Cell Antenna Permit Application List, 75 permits from Verizon and AT&T have been approved and 5 are currently in review. However, not all residents have received the new technology with the same enthusiasm. Many residents have expressed concerns about new poles disrupting neighborhood aesthetics, while others are concerned about the potential health risks associated with the radio frequencies emitted from the cellular network. According to the American Cancer Society, there is no strong evidence that exposure to radio frequency waves from 5G cell phone towers causes any noticeable health effects, but more research must be conducted to study any possible long-term effects as new technologies emerge. As the American Cancer Society explains on its website, radio frequency waves rarely reach the ground from the point of transmission on tall cell sites: “Radio frequency waves from a cell phone tower antenna, like those from other telecommunication antennas, are directed toward the horizon (parallel to the ground), with some downward scatter. As a result, the level of exposure to RF waves at ground level is much lower than the level close to the antenna.” 12 | Business Climate | 2021 / 2022 Annual Real Estate

One major subject of concern for citizens, however, surrounds the City of Pensacola’s lack of authority over the placement of cell towers, resulting in new poles being installed in close proximity to residential homes. According to the Senate Bill 1000 signed by Governor Ron DeSantis on June 25, 2019, municipalities and counties are prohibited from adopting or enforcing certain ordinances, regulations or requirements related to communication services. The bill also specifies limitations on municipal and county authority to regulate and manage municipal and county roads or rights of way. Citizens in East Hill have protested the construction of new pole sites on the basis of preserving historic neighborhood aesthetics, which they claim have been violated through the failure to perform proper historic reviews. Several homeowners signed and sent a petition to the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) to review the construction of a small cell site built directly in front of a 100-year-old home on 19th Avenue between Gadsden and Jackson street. On March 17, the FCC granted a pleading schedule to review the petition. According to the Florida League of Cities, citizens opposed to Senate Bill 1000 and the inability of local government to act on cell tower placement can protest the bill by calling Florida legislators in support of “home rule.” The power

of “home rule” dates back to the early 1900s and grants cities and counties the ability to enact ordinances at the local level without state approval. Overturning the bill in favor of home rule would give local government and municipalities control to negotiate the placement of towers with carrier companies. As 5G technology expands across the Pensacola region, the increase in connection speeds, reduced lag-time and increased reliability will benefit some of Pensacola’s top-grossing industries including healthcare, education, cybersecurity, banking, aerospace, military and hospitality, which all require advanced connection. To learn more about the rollout of small cell antennas and new towers in Pensacola, you can track current permits through cityofpensacola.com/3057/5G-SmallCell-Antenna-Permit-Application and the frequently updated Verizon coverage map at verizon.com/coverage-map.


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TIPS FOR FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYERS by Thomas Leemon, Realtor

Americans hop onto real estate websites and apps to scroll through numerous houses for sale with no intention to buy a house. Scrolling has become such a trend that Saturday Night Live recently ran a skit poking fun at this. The prospect of buying a house seems daunting.

the home buying process? For this one, think about inspections, appraisals, application fees and possible closing costs you may have.

individuals during the entire process. It’s important to find an agent and a lender that is able to help effectively guide you through the home buying process. When looking for the right agent and lender, keep a couple of critical thoughts in mind. First, both the agent and the lender need to be able to educate and provide insight on certain aspects of the process. Second, both the agent and the lender need to be communicative and transparent about every aspect of the process. If your agent and lender can do both of those critical acts, you are good to go!

That does not have to be the case. If you are looking to become a firsttime homebuyer, keep this in mind: homeownership is within your grasp. Why is that? Let me explain.

▶▶ Are you able to afford the actual monthly mortgage payment? A mortgage payment is not simply paying the loan amount. A mortgage payment encompasses the loan, insurance, fees such as HOA dues and taxes.

There are five questions you should ask yourself to determine if you are ready to buy a home.

▶▶ Will you be able to afford possible repairs and maintenance?

▶▶ How is your debt to income ratio (DTI) and your credit? This is something any lender will focus on when you submit your pre-approval application.

If you have answered “yes” to these questions, you may be ready to buy a house. Now what?

2. House hunt and submit your offer.

Create your team. That would be your real estate agent and your lender. Those two individuals will be the most important

4. Sign the papers on your new home!

▶▶ Do you have money saved up for fees and costs that will incur during

▶▶ Are you settling down in one location long enough to make homeownership worth it? If not, will you rent your house out when you move?

The steps to buying a home are as follows: 1. Speak with a lender to get preapproval for a mortgage.

3. Get to the closing table.

Let’s get step-by-step in brief over each step. nwflbusinessclimate.com | Business Climate | 17


Remember this: you are not alone. You will have a team working with you to get you through the process. Homeownership is a lifetime achievement. You can achieve it.

STEP 1: PRE-APPROVAL There is no one basic loan for everyone. Each homebuyer is different with unique situations. That is why speaking with a lender first is vital. Your lender will be able to tell you what may be best for you based on the financial information given. There is a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan. This option is attractive for lower credit scores, and a down payment can be as low as 3.5 percent of the purchase price. In addition, there may be state and county programs that can assist homebuyers with down payment assistance so you have zero percent down. There is a conventional loan. Again, based on your credit score, your down payment can be as low as three percent. And then, there’s even a USDA loan for more rural areas that are 100 percent financed with no down payment needed. The type of loan you get with certain terms depends on your financial situation. It is very important to speak to a lender about all of your possibilities. STEP 2: HOUSE HUNT AND YOUR OFFER This is the “fun” part of the process. Using the criteria you’ve discussed with your real estate agent, you both will start house hunting. Be sure to know what your lender has pre-approved you for and stay within that financial limit. Your agent should be able to help you find just the house for you. The size of a house, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, house 18 | Business Climate | 2021 / 2022 Annual Real Estate

features and location are all important to think about as you’re house hunting. Utilizing the tools available will be key to finding the right house for you. Once you’ve found a house you like, it’s time to submit your offer. Your offer should be attractive enough for the seller and you to come to an agreement. Consult with both your agent and lender if needed to create a solid offer. And, should the offer go well, you’ll be under contract in no time! This can be the easy part of the whole process because once you’ve found the house, the work begins. STEP 3: GETTING TO THE CLOSING TABLE From here on out, you have anywhere between 30 to 60 days to get everything done in order to get to the closing table. You’ll have inspections to have done. You may need a survey of the house to be done. You will need to submit your financial history to the lender so that the lender can finalize your approval. You’ll need to get homeowner’s insurance. You’ll need an appraisal done as well. All of that can sound daunting. This is usually what stresses the first-time homebuyer out. But, have no fear! This is what your real estate agent and lender are for. They will be guiding and handling much of the work. All you need to do is get documents in on time and make sure you respond to calls and emails. Any delay could delay closing. For the next few weeks, stay on top of the process so that the process can go smoothly.

STEP 4: SIGNING THE PAPERS You’ve made it. All of those emails, appointments, scheduling, phone calls and talks have led you to the day you go sign the papers to close the process out. This is closing day. You may have money to bring to the table. You may not. Closing costs are determined by your loan and lender. That’s why picking the right lender is important. A typical closing session takes about an hour. There is a stack of papers for you to sign after all! And, once you’re done with that, congratulations. You are a homeowner. I hope this has helped your understanding a bit of how the home buying process works. I hope you’ve found tips here and some good information to use as you buy your first house. Remember this: you are not alone. You will have a team working with you to get you through the process. Homeownership is a lifetime achievement. You can achieve it.  Thomas’ Bio: I have lived in the Pensacola area for over 10 years and been in the real estate industry for 3 years now. I have come to love Pensacola and its community. I focus my business on individuals. Because of that, my real estate business is built on service, care, and relationships!


Home & Auto go together. Like you & a good neighbor. Michael Johnson, Agent 3127 E Langley Avenue Pensacola, FL 32504 Bus: 850-478-7748 www.michaeljohnsonagency.com

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HASHTAG CONNECTOR

CONSTRUCTION AHEAD: The Hashtag Connector is a proposal for the Downtown and Bayfront areas to better connect the areas along the city’s waterfront, support multi-modal transportation, offer opportunities for development, and promote public spaces. The proposal outlines strategic modifications to the mobility networks in the Hashtag area, including traffic changes, a complete and connected bike network, and strategic curb modifications to better accommodate pedestrian circulation, bioswales, and planting. In addition, the proposal outlines a signature palette of paving materials, street furniture, and plant communities that will create a distinct landscape for the Bayfront area. The proposed Hashtag Connector Plan prioritizes users in Street Design. Pedestrians are given priority with the design of friendly sidewalk spaces, resting spots, shade, and active storefronts.

12 Infrastructure Improvements Coming Soon By Gina Castro

A

lthough improvements to infrastructure tend to not pique many people’s interest, these types of enhancements can greatly improve an area’s quality of life. Studies have shown how1900s, more Palafox sidewalks, Early Trolleytraffic calming elements and the beautification of parks can benefit a city’s social, environmental, economy and health. Adding more street lights, crosswalks and bike lanes makes the neighborhood and the city as a whole safer for children, pedestrians and motorists. The City of Pensacola, Community Redevelopment Agency and other organizations have been working to improve Pensacola’s parks, streets and stormwater treatments. Business Climate rounded up several infrastructure improvements that are nearing completion. To learn more about these projects, visit bit.ly/38nNT9X. “The city has greatly improved our policies and procedures to require that our projects be environmentally friendly, such as making sure that we’re designing and constructing projects in such a way that we’re balancing the needs for both the natural environment as well as the human environment,” City of Pensacola Project Manager David Forte said.

©© Main and Cedar Streets will see enhancements in the three-phase Hashtag Roadway Revitalization Project .

Proposed Hashtag Districts

Hashtag Roadway Revitalization Project

¨¨ Pedestrians

will walk safer along West Cervantes once seven lighted midblock crosswalks are installed.

The Hashtag Roadway Revitalization Project will enhance several streets downtown and will take three phases to complete. The first phase will revitalize Main Street between Baylen Street and Alcaniz Street. Phase two and three will revitalize Cedar Street between Bartram Park and Spring Street. The project will include a woonerf along Cedar Street, culdesac improvements along Baylen Street, stormwater bioretention and urban landscaping, to name a few. The design consultant is Dewberry. Dewberry has submitted 30 percent of plans for Phase 1 for City review and comment. The completion date is TBD. The estimated cost of the project is $10,028,260.

West Cervantes Street Pedestrian Safety Project The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) began construction for the $7 million West Cervantes Pedestrian Safety Project, which is being funded by the

28

City of Pensacola, Escambia County and FDOT. The project intends to improve pedestrian safety along the 2.2-mile section of West Cervantes Street, from Dominguez Street to A Street. The West Cervantes Pedestrian Safety Project is a collaborative effort between the city, county and FDOT. The project will improve the sidewalk by constructing seven lighted midblock crosswalks, ADA-compliant ramps and a wider multi-use path. Street lighting and existing signals will be enhanced with upgraded pedestrian features. New traffic signals will be added at four intersections. The project will also enhance the road and surrounding land. The width of the vehicle lanes will be reduced, and the speed limit will be decreased to 30 mph. The project completion date is estimated for early 2022. For more information on this project, visit nwflroads.com/ projects/443769-1.  nwflbusinessclimate.com | Business Climate | 21


CONSTRUCTION AHEAD attractive to potential homeowners,” City of Pensacola Parks and Recreation Director Brian Cooper said. “Anytime you improve a park, you give children and adults in that neighborhood a sense of place.”

“A” Street Revitalization

Legion Field Improvements Legion Field, located at West Gregory Street, has had several improvements in recent months. The City upgraded the lighting fixtures at Legion Field. The 34 fully solar fixtures don’t require power hookup or light bulb maintenance. Whenever a jogger or walker approaches the lights, the brightness automatically boosts to 100 percent. During times the lights are not in high demand, it will be at 70 percent brightness. The lights illuminate the walking path, playground and splash pad. The new splash pad for the park will be ready to use by May. The other improvements at Legion Field include a new playground, fitness court and a tee ball installation. These improvements are estimated for completion by mid April. The estimated cost of all improvements is $527,558.42. “Anytime you improve a park, you make the city neighborhoods around it more

The A Street revitalization project intends to add sidewalks, ADA enhancements, lighting, crosswalks and landscaping. The improvements will be along A Street from Cervantes to Main Street and also from Clubbs and A Street. The project will also feature traffic calming improvements. Some of the traffic calming improvements the project is considering include additional all way stops with raised intersections, mid-block raised crosswalks and colored parking. The project’s landscape will feature some native plants such as Live Oak “Cathedral,” Magnolia Little Gem and East Palatka Holley. The design phase of this project is expected to be ready by the end of March. Construction is expected to begin around August or September.

DeVilliers Street Revitalization The DeVilliers area has seen some major improvements in recent years. The CRA started the estimated $3 million project to revitalize DeVilliers Street from Main to Garden and from Garden to Cervantes. Phase one of the project, which includes the segment of

DeVilliers from Main to Garden, launched August 2020. Phase two, which includes the segment of DeVilliers from Garden to Cervantes, began October 2020. This project intends to improve lighting, street trees, landscaping and bicycle safety. The project will also add more sidewalks, crosswalks and traffic calming elements. To improve the safety of pedestrians, motorists and cyclists, the project will make the roadway two lanes with on-street parking. Both phase one and two of the project are expected to be complete in April or May, weather permitting.

Reus Street Revitalization The CRA is revitalizing Reus Street from Cervantes Street to Main Street. The project includes streetscape and multimodal improvements. Sidewalks with enhancements will be added. This project intends to improve lighting, street trees, landscaping and bicycle safety. Phase one includes the segment of Reus from Main to Garden, and phase two includes the segment of DeVilliers from Garden to Cervantes. Construction for phase one is underway. Once phase one of this project is

ªª The A Street revitalization project includes traffic calming improvements.

DeVilliers Street Narrow

d Upon Roadway Striping Reconfiguration –2 Travel Lanes w/ Shared Lane M ªª DeVilliers will see improvements in

lighting, landscaping and bicycle safety.

22 | Business Climate | 2021 / 2022 Annual Real Estate


CONSTRUCTION AHEAD Perry, Blount, and Avery Outfalls at Bayou Texar Stormwater Treatment Enhancement Project, making the roadway safer for both motorists and cyclists. These projects began mid February and are estimated to take approximately 135 calendar days to complete.

East Garden District/ Jefferson Street Streetscape Project finished by April or May, construction for phase two will begin. Phase two is expected to be complete around the end of summer or early fall timeframe. The cost of this project is $1,122,630.02.

Bayou Texar Stormwater Treatment Project The City’s three stormwater improvement projects are estimated to remove 15.3 tons of pollutant solids annually from dumping into Bayou Texar, which enhances the water quality of the bayou and connected waterways. The East Cross, Yates, Escambia and Osceola Outfalls at Bayou Texar Stormwater Treatment Enhancement Project is estimated to remove 6.1 tons of pollutants annually; Scott, Yates, Lakeview and Strong Outfalls to Bayou Texar Stormwater Treatment Enhancement Project estimated 5.8 tons of pollutant to be removed annually; and Bayou Boulevard, Perry, Blount and Avery Outfalls at Bayou Texar Stormwater Treatment Enhancement Project estimated 3.4 tons of pollutant removed annually. Before these three projects, the stormwater basins previously discharged into Bayou Texar with no form of treatment. The stormwater treatment units, that will be installed through these projects, collect stormwater runoff and trap sediment and other pollutants inside. These projects will allow cleaner water to be discharged into Bayou Texar and Pensacola Bay. These improvements also solve the issue of standing water along the shoulder Bayou Boulevard, which makes the roadway safer for both motorists and cyclists. In addition to providing stormwater treatment, previous issues with standing water along the shoulder of Bayou Boulevard were addressed through the Bayou Boulevard,

The East Garden District Streetscape and Jefferson Street Road Diet project features a road-diet and streetscape improvements to Jefferson Street from Garden Street to Chase Street. The East Garden District project is projected to leverage $40.8 million in private investment. The CRA will cover $1,375,000. This project is expected to have an estimated $2.8 million annual tax impact. This project will also feature underground utilities, traffic calming elements and sidewalks. The completion of this project is TBD.

Airport Parking Improvements The Airport division will be installing approximately 250 additional parking stalls along 9th Avenue, west of Fire Station 6, on Pensacola International Airport property. This project will also improve landscaping, irrigation lighting, stormwater collection/conveyance, and the project will create a new pond. This project is currently on hold, but it is estimated to cost $1,750,000. Airport Economy Lot #3 Project will install approximately 250 additional parking stalls in front of Hyatt Hotel at Airport. This project will also feature new landscaping, irrigation lighting and stormwater collection. This project is in the preconstruction phase, but it is on hold. The project is estimated to cost $1,250,000.

Bruce Beach Park Improvements In coordination with the City, SCAPE and Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), FMWAS planted three groves of native trees and their associated tieredunderstory of smaller native trees, shrubs, bushes and ground covers on the upper bank slope of the Washerwoman Creek

Basin at Bruce Beach. These native plants are the first step to making the park an interactive educational nature park with a focus on sustainability. Park improvements to Bruce Beach Natural Area are guided by the Urban Core Community Redevelopment Plan and the Waterfront Framework Plan developed by SCAPE. The project will be completed in four phases. The project intends to connect Palafox to Maritime Community Park and connect that park to Bruce Beach. The improvements at Bruce Beach include trails, boardwalks, pavilions, bird watching and native landscapes. The project will be completed in four phases. The design of phase one is expected to be complete by June or July. Construction of phase one is expected to begin September or October. Once construction begins for phase one the design phase for the next phase will begin and so on. The estimated cost for the Bruce Beach Park improvements is $8,657,000.

Burgess Road Sidewalks Public Works is installing sidewalks with curbs and gutters along Burgess Road. This project will extend from Lanier Drive end of Burgess Road, past Joy Street to almost Sewell Street. The project will also feature a new stormwater collection and conveyance system. The design phase is expected to be completed spring 2021. This project is estimated to cost $1,600,000.

Hitzman-Optimist Park Improvements This project was brought forth to create more space for the expanding youth soccer program. The city acquired the property adjacent to Hitzman-Optimist Park through a land swap with Northeast Pensacola YMCA. The three full-size soccer fields, multi-use green space, a bathroom and concession area, a walking loop and additional parking spaces are expected to be complete by late April or early May. The swings will be replaced with new ones, and the disc golf course will have improvements, too. Native vegetation will also be planted at the park. The estimated cost for these improvements is $1,942,898.75.  nwflbusinessclimate.com | Business Climate | 23


Need a Lawyer? It is always a good idea to check with a lawyer before you make an important decision—whether you are buying a house, making a business deal, or settling a dispute. A short talk with a lawyer often tells you all you need to know—how serious a problem is, how to handle it swiftly and how to make sure it is settled for good.

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With over 50 participating local attorneys experienced in many different areas of law, we can help you find an attorney to handle your case. Your call is free. When you meet with your lawyer, there will be a small fee of $40.00 for the first half-hour consultation. Fees for additional services after the first half-hour are arranged between you and your lawyer. We do not have attorneys who accept pro bono or contingency cases.

CHECK OUT OUR LAWYER REFERRAL SERVICE TODAY! 850.434.6009 | LRS@ESRBA.COM | ESRBA.COM Lawyer Referral Service is a public service provided by the Escambia-Santa Rosa Bar Association


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850.380.3379 | terriTdavidson@gmail.com

CHAVIS CONSTRUCTION CO. BUILT THEM THEN...

In addition to building over 80 residential homes in the Greater Pensacola Area, Chavis construction also built: ADMIRAL MASON STADIUM QUINTETTE RD PLYWOOD PLANT ARMSTRONG CORK B. T. WASHINGTON HIGH SCHOOL CORRY FIELD CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL WEAR TV STATION CORDOVA PARK ELEMENTARY MASONIC LODGE OJ SEMMES ELEMENTARY SCHOOL PENSACOLA GARDEN CLUB WORKMAN MIDDLE SCHOOL EGLIN MISSILE FACILITY PENSACOLA CHRISTIAN SCHOOL JITNEY JUNGLE FERRY PASS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL SHEA MOTEL NAS GROUND SCHOOL LINK TRAINING BLDG & SQUADRON BLDG NATIONAL GUARD ARMORY (NOW HEALTH DEPT) 8 EAST HILL 4-PLEX'S

BROWNSVILLE MIDDLE SCHOOL EAST MILTON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL ST MARKS METHODIST CHURCH GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH WARRINGTON BAPTIST CHURCH ST ANNE'S CHURCH FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH ST STEVEN'S EPISCOPAL CHURCH ST CHRISTOPHER'S EPISCOPAL CHURCH

BILL CHAVIS- REALTOR 850-501-0771 BILL@EASTHILLBILL.COM EASTHILLBILL.COM

...CHAVIS TEAM SELLS THEM NOW!

We tip our hats to the other Chavis family members who contributed to our community- Chavis Construction Co., K. Chavis Construction, Barberi Plumbing, Luther Chavis, Levoughn Chavis, Alvin Chavis, Robert Chavis, Clifford Chavis, Tom Chavis, and Curtis Chavis


INVESTING IN A GREENER TOMORROW: SUSTAINABLE + ECO-FRIENDLY INVESTING

BY DAKOTA PARKS

S

ustainability is sweeping across the globe, changing the way we live, travel, shop, consume—and invest. As social and cultural consciousness toward protecting the environment and natural resources thrives, so too does the demand for green investing. Sustainable investing, often called impact, green or eco-investing, puts environmental sustainability at the forefront of investment strategies and portfolios. Since 2012, sustainable investment assets managed in the U.S. have more than tripled from $3.7 trillion in 2012 to $17.1 trillion at the beginning of 2020, according to the Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment’s 2020 trends report. This surge of assets not only accounts for 33 percent of total U.S. assets under management but also demonstrates the global forces changing the future of investments.

26 | Business Climate | 2021 / 2022 Annual Real Estate

For Jacey J. Cosentino, a financial advisor for the RadcliffSchatzman Group at Morgan Stanley, her focus on sustainable investment solutions allows her to help clients align their core values with the way they invest and grow wealth. It was this shift toward what she describes as compassionate capitalism that supports causes like climate change mitigation, diversity and inclusion, social equity, food and water scarcity and cruelty-free investing that first interested Cosentino in sustainability back in 2012. “Sustainable investing can incorporate a theme, like climate change mitigation or social equity, or even screen out certain investments like fossil fuels, tobacco or companies that have had human rights violations,” Cosentino explained. “For me personally, I want to support companies that have fair wages, non-discrimination policies in place, methods in place to lessen the damage to our environment, waterways and communities or implement processes that remove negative impact to our environment all together.”

Climate change mitigation and legislative policies like the Paris Climate Agreement in 2016 and global leaders setting goals to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions are some of the driving forces to the rise in sustainable investing. As more and more people embrace a green lifestyle, they want to support companies and investment opportunities that promote a healthy environment and future. Financial advisors, like Cosentino work with analysts to choose investments that consistently score high on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) metrics. The ESG categories can be broken down into the three pillars: Environmental criteria considers how a company performs as a steward of nature, which might include action on climate change or greenhouse gas emissions and reductions; Social criteria examines how a company manages relationships with employees, suppliers, customers and the communities where it operates, which includes labor standards and health and safety; Governance criteria explores a company’s leadership, executive pay, audits, internal controls and shareholder rights to include anti-corruption measures or tax transparency. “Companies that focus on sustainability are less volatile and score higher on ESG metrics,” Cosentino elaborated. “Whether its fixed income, equities, private equity, REIT’s, or alternative investments, we have options to build out portfolios that echo the changes you want to see in the world.” On a presentation co-hosted by local organizations 350 Pensacola and Healthy Gulf, called “Climate Change Investment Opportunities: Decarbonizing Your Portfolio,” Cosentino discussed how companies are pledging to decarbonize in an effort to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions,


which coincides with investing in new technologies and renewable energy. According to data from the Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing, 4 in 10 global companies across multiple industries have a confirmed emission target, including 37 percent of companies within the real estate industry. “In my opinion, renewable energy is the new real estate,” she said. “Investments in solar, wind and hydropower through equities, ETF’s, mutual funds, SMA’s, REIT’s, bonds and alternative investments all offer an investor the ability to not only support the most pressing issue of our time, climate change mitigation, but also continue to invest in what they like best: real estate. Many of my clients are real estate agents and real estate investors and incorporate renewable energy into their investment portfolios. I have several clients who have chosen this route as opposed to buying another property. They feel good about supporting an industry that is truly changing our world.” Investments in emerging technologies like renewable energy are key to curbing greenhouse gas emissions and climate change mitigation. A cross-team collaboration of more than 50 Morgan Stanley economists, analysts and strategists estimate that reducing energyrelated carbon emissions—the largest segment of CO2 emissions—is possible utilizing five decarbonization technologies: renewables, electric vehicles, hydrogen, carbon capture and storage (CCS), and biofuels. In order to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, however, $50 trillion in investments is needed in these five technologies. In addition to the surge of investment opportunities, the price of solar, renewable energy and green technologies are becoming more affordable, which is driving more companies to adopt the infrastructure. “I believe policy will also force certain industries to add solar, wind or hydropower to their methods of acquiring energy. Sustainable infrastructure is something I would incorporate into a diversified portfolio, especially knowing the statistics over the next 10, 20, 30 years and beyond,” Cosentino explained. One of the biggest misconceptions in sustainable investments is that investors will forego returns to have a sustainable portfolio. Not only do

IMPACT (OR GREEN) INVESTING puts the focus on sustainable investment solutions that supports causes such as...

Climate Change

Diversity & Inclusion

Social Equity

Resource Scarcity

Cruelty-Free Practices

returns in sustainable investments perform in line or better than traditional investments, but as Cosentino explained, during a down economy like the 2020 market experienced at the height of COVID-19, sustainable investments can even capture greater returns: “While COVID-19 induced a global recession and market volatility in the first half of 2020, sustainable funds—across stocks and bonds—in general, helped investors weather the period better than many of their traditional peers,” she said. The Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing found that U.S. sustainable equity funds outperformed their traditional peer funds in 2020 by a median total return of 4.3 percentage points and that U.S. sustainable equity funds’ median downside deviation was 3.1 percentage points less than traditional peer funds. As the world grapples with impacts of climate change and economic recovery after COVID-19, investors around the world are demanding environmentally conscious options. Sustainable investing doesn’t just stop at protecting the environment, either. Through restriction screening, thematic exposure and impact investing, investors can tailor their portfolios to specific social impacts too, including socioeconomic issues, such as advancing racial equity and combating systemic racism through investment decisions. Other social lenses include supporting diversity and inclusion and promoting community economic development. To learn more about how sustainable investing is impacting the future, visit morganstanley.com/articles/ investing-with-impact.  nwflbusinessclimate.com | Business Climate | 27


congratulations to

NAN HARPER & CHARLIE ROTENBERRY on receiving Wcr's topgun aWards! Charlie Rotenberry 850-525-9212 charote@mchsi.com

Nan Harper, Realtor Owner 850-293-0321 nanharper@nanharper.com

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9 SEASHORE DR MLS # 586108 • $1,350,000

John Pinzino • 850-324-7 188 johnpinzino@gmail.com Exquisite Luxury home in Seashore Village on Pensacola Beach. 3 A/C units, reclaimed heart pine floors, more exclusive features plus many upgrades since the last sale.

300 AVENIDA 19 MLS # 586156 • $625,000

Jan Christian • 850-723-0235 islandjan@gmail.com Under Contract within hours of listing, this well-built Pensacola Beach home with views of the Gulf & the Sound, is located mere steps from either shore. Sold fully furnished and ready to enjoy or rent in the short-term market. Extensive upgrades have been done by Seller making this home, on a nearly quarter acre corner lot, a best beach value.

ER T UNDTRAC CON

ER T UNDTRAC CON

7352 SPINNAKER CT MLS # 573232 • $1,369,000

Debbie Walden • 850-206-7400 debbiewalden89@gmail.com Gorgeous, fully furnished waterfront home on Navarre Beach in the gated community of Sailmaker Cove. Enjoy as your dream home or gross upwards of $100,000 annually as a short-term rental with 5 bedrooms, 4 baths.

440 LIMERICK LN MLS # 586808 • $335,000

Nan Harper • 850-293-0321 nanharper@nanharper.com Over 4000 sq ft, this 4 bedroom, 4 bath, estate home in Whispering Pines subdivision, is in mint condition and situated on an acre of land. Downstairs guest suite could be an office. 2 car garage with fenced back yard. Call Nan for an appointment to view.

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$15,605 back from your health plan? *

Now, that’s refreshing. Money back is possible with All Savers® Alternate Funding, a health plan built to help your Florida small business get back to business faster. All Savers is based on your employees’ medical claims — so if they’re lower than expected, your business may get a surplus refund at year-end.*

Get the details and ask for a quote at uhc.com/allsaversfl

More savings

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Exemption from most Affordable Care Act regulations and state premium taxes

A variety of plan designs, including wellness programs and telemedicine at no additional cost to employees

Fixed monthly plan costs and safeguards to help protect your plan from unexpected high claims

*Yep, that’s a real number. Among the 49% of UnitedHealthcare’s All Savers Florida business customers who received a refund in 2020, the average refund was $15,605. UnitedHealthcare internal reconciliation analysis, Jan. 1, 2020 through Dec. 31, 2020. Please consult a tax and/or legal advisor to determine if, by receiving this refund, there are any restrictions or obligations, or whether the surplus refund is taxable. Surplus refund available only where allowed by state law. Administrative services provided by United HealthCare Services, Inc. or their affiliates, and UnitedHealthcare Service LLC in NY. Stop-loss insurance is underwritten by All Savers Insurance Company (except MA, MN, NJ and NY), UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company in MA and MN, UnitedHealthcare Life Insurance Company in NJ, and UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company of New York in NY. B2B EI21573326.0 3/21 © 2021 United HealthCare Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 21-569750-B


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Looking to provide affordable health care coverage designed for affordability? There’s a solution available for small business owners in Florida With the health care industry and economy experiencing continued uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, small business owners may be dealing with the financial challenges of offering adequate, affordable coverage to their employees. Alternate funding plans offer a way to help control costs Also called level-funded plans, alternate funding plans may help small businesses reduce their overall health care costs and help employees get more out of their benefits. These plans include 3 components: 1. The employer’s self-funded medical plan. This pays medical expenses for covered employees and their dependents. 2. A third-party claims administration agreement. The employer enters into an agreement with the administrator, who provides claims processing, billing, customer service and other services. 3. A stop-loss insurance policy. This provides coverage for large, catastrophic claims by a single covered individual and provides overall coverage in the event all medical claims go beyond a certain dollar limit.

Traditional Insurance vs. Alternate Funding Plans

Claims Fixed Premium

Variable

Claims Stop loss insurance Administrative, commissions, taxes, etc.

Alternate funding: With an alternate funding plan such as All Savers® Alternate Funding from UnitedHealthcare, the employer sets up a medical plan that pays for employees’ medical benefits directly. Part of the risk is taken on by the medical plan, with the rest covered by stop loss insurance. The plan’s level-funding structure means the administration fees, stop loss premium and monthly maximum claim liability are included in one fixed monthly invoice throughout the plan year. At the end of the plan year, if the total health care claims are lower than expected, the employer may receive money back (where allowed by state law).1 And if they’re higher? The stop loss insurance policy covers them.

A great way to experience financial flexibility and freedom All Savers is easy to understand and was specifically designed for small businesses. It may help the employer: • Pay lower premium taxes throughout the year (stop loss coverage is still subject to premium tax) • Be exempt from most Affordable Care Act regulations and state insurance mandates • Get protection from unexpected high claims with stop loss insurance • Receive money back at the end of the plan year if medical claims are lower than expected (where allowed by state law)1

Fixed

Administrative, commissions, taxes, etc.

Traditional: With traditional insurance plans, the employer pays a fixed premium to the insurance company. The insurance company assumes all of the risk, paying the health care claims, administrative costs, sales commissions and taxes. At the end of the plan year, if the actual health care claims are higher than expected, the insurance company covers them. But if they’re lower, the insurance company keeps the difference.

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Meet the challenge of health care costs head-on Consider an alternate funding plan such as All Savers from UnitedHealthcare. All Savers offers a variety of plan designs, innovative wellness programs, robust member tools and access to the vast UnitedHealthcare provider and OptumRx® pharmacy networks. It’s a great way for small businesses to provide coverage designed for affordability and help their employees get the most out of their benefits.

For more information, contact your broker or visit uhc.com/allsaversfl

Please consult a tax and/or legal advisor to determine if, by receiving this surplus refund, there are any restrictions or obligations, or whether the surplus refund is taxable.

Administrative services provided by United HealthCare Services, Inc. or their affiliates, and UnitedHealthcare Service LLC in NY. Stop-loss insurance is underwritten by All Savers Insurance Company (except MA, MN, NJ and NY), UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company in MA and MA, UnitedHealthcare Life Insurance Company in NJ, and UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company of New York in NY. B2B EI21573327.0 3/21 © 2021 United HealthCare Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 21-569750-C


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NEW DEVELOPMENTS BUILDING THE COMMUNITY FORWARD by Jessie Gann, Fiama Mastrangelo & Sky Rivera

Despite a global pandemic, a devastating hurricane, rising construction costs and record unemployment, the building boom in the greater Pensacola area is going strong. From downtown Pensacola through all of Escambia and into Santa Rosa

County, new subdivisions, infill housing and commercial projects are popping up every day, and the boom shows no sign of slowing. Here, we highlight a few of the many interesting projects currently in development.

Photo by Greg Riegler nwflbusinessclimate.com | Business Climate | 33


IN DEVELOPMENT

Bayview Community Resource Center Designed by local architectural firm, Caldwell Associates, award-winning Bayview Community Resource Center was completed in late 2020, and a ribbon cutting ceremony was held on January 29 of 2021 to celebrate this accomplishment. The approximately 13,000-square-foot Bayview Community Resource Center is designed to enhance connectivity to Bayou Texar, featuring decks and balconies offering sweeping waterfront views and waterfront access. Bayou Texar is a protected waterway and an important natural resource in the

Pensacola community, and the new center will also be used to educate the community, promote water safety and encourage environmental responsibility. As a tribute to Bayview Park’s rich history, the sign at the building’s main entrance pays homage to the old 30-foot diving tower that was used in the park dating back to the early 1920s. The Bayview Community Resource Center features approximately 3,500-squarefeet of event space and 4,000-square-feet of indoor storage for kayaks and other equipment, designed to meet

Photo by Greg Riegler

the diverse needs of community groups and residents. The state-of-the-art facility will specialize in community spaces for watersports activities, community gatherings and event rentals. The City of Pensacola’s outdoor and volunteer programs will now be based out of Bayview Community Resource Center. In addition to a variety of programs and events for residents of all ages, the center will offer equipment rentals including kayaks, stand up paddleboards, pedal boats, bikes and more. The city broke ground on the approximately $8 million Bayview Community Resource Center in 2018, replacing the former community center that was demolished in 2015. The Bayview Community Resource Center was awarded the American Institute of Architecture Florida Northwest 2020 Design Award, and the Bayview Senior Center was also recognized by the Florida Recreation and Parks Association with a Facility Showcase Award for renovations at the center. “We are building the community—and have been doing that for a long time— building the community that

Photos by Greg Riegler

people want to be in,” Mayor Grover Robinson said. “We’re excited about the possibilities of what this community center offers all of our citizens.” Bayview Community Resource Center is located at 2000 E Lloyd St. in Pensacola.

“We are building the community… that people want to be in.”

34 | Business Climate | 2021 / 2022 Annual Real Estate


IN DEVELOPMENT Photo by Dick Jenkins

Historic Coca Cola Factory

Tippin Park Community Center A community center is coming to Tippin Park—the only one of its kind in District 2. Councilwoman Sherri Myers is working closely with Pastor Sylvia Tisdale to design a center that will bring afterschool activities, community gardening and an indoor basketball court to the area. $1 million dollars was allocated for the project

The historic Coca Cola Factory in North Hill was purchased by Industrial Energy Services, Inc. (IES), a leading provider of LED lighting for commercial and industrial uses. The original windows from 1936 will be restored and a new terra cotta metal roof will provide the building with hurricane protection

while retaining the look of the original design. The bottling area inside the factory will continue as an industrial space and the original offices will be restored and used by the company. Building permits have been obtained, and IES expects to move their production equipment beginning in October of this year.

from the city last fall, but it is estimated that the project will cost $3.5 million dollars in total. While fundraising continues for the project, Myers has begun assembling people with expertise on accessibility and sustainability. Physical, mental and sensory accessibility features will be incorporated in the final design.

Hollice T. Williams Skatepark The Hollice T. Williams Skatepark is an exciting new addition to the city of Pensacola. This park will be a project within a project as it is a part of the Hollice T. Williams Stormwater Park Project. The skatepark will be approximately 23,000-squarefeet, sitting underneath the I-110 underpass, adjacent to

the community garden. While the designs for this park are still in the conceptual phase, it is set to boast a snake style bowl as well as a more traditional bowl. The designs for this skatepark will be completed by the second quarter of 2021, and construction is expected to begin later this summer.

nwflbusinessclimate.com | Business Climate | 35


IN DEVELOPMENT

Girard Place Girard Place is coming to Romana Street. The new townhomes border Pensacola’s historic downtown area. Residents will find themselves within walking distance of a cultural hub. Since it’s only a three-block walk to the Blue Wahoos stadium, you’ll be wanting to catch every game. Find yourself on the private walking path to Ever’man Grocery and Café to pick up some dinner. Feeling like a night out? Right down the street are lively restaurants, bars, shops and more. There are several notable gastropubs within the area: Union Public House to the south, Urban Swinery to the Northeast and

O’Reilly’s Irish Pub to the Southeast to name a few. The luxury townhomes are equipped with the latest smart technology. You can control the room temperature, lights and locks all with the push of a button while away from home. Girard Place also features and indoor workout facility and an outdoor pool along with many other luxury amenities. Each 2,152 square foot unit has been sold and 80% of residents have moved into their new townhomes. For more information on Girard Place, contact them at (850)-858-0300 or at contact@ girardplace.net.

The connected community makes it easy for you to use your smartphone or tablet to control your home. You can switch on your lights and set them to an appropriate brightness, all while you’re relaxing or even away. The home automation system will allow you to lock or

OLF-8 Project ADJUSTED HYBRID PLAN

Types

Center

Live/Work, Residential over Retail, Office over Retail

& Industrial

Commerce types

ities + Trails

Post Office, School, Day-care, Community Garden, etc. Urban Cottage, Duplex, Townhouse: Walk-Up, 2 over 1, Multi-Family

unlock your home and turn on your security system remotely. Use the home automation app to raise the temperature in your home a few degrees to match your comfort level. Not only will you feel more comfortable, but you’ll also enjoy a lower energy bill.

Just under 500 acres in Beulah commercial use, residential Luxury Amenities and Unique Features is under discussion for zoning spaces and public amenities. • Fitness Center • The FullyBoard Equipped Kitchen Microwave plans and being developed met on with March Percentage of Acreage • Pool • Spacious Closets Developable Land • Each Owner Will Own Their • Spacious Outdoor Living Areas by DPZ CoDesign, anPro-rata urbanShare 11, 2021 and discussed of The Community • Walk-out Porches to Enjoy Gulf coast Living • Private Walk-path to Ever’man Grocery & • Recreational Monthly Community planning firm. Various master issues with infrastructure andEvents 47 acres 11% Cafe • Wi-Fi at Pool and Clubhouse • Threefor Block Walk toare Stadium • Maintenance Available plans zoning currently school overflow in relation • Ultra High-speed Access • Online Services 271 being acres workshopped 64% • Fire Pit with the to adding new residential Escambia Board 10.6% of County areas. By Memorial Day, 45 acres Commissioners for approval. the Board will select a plan The latest plan, termed that best represents their 61 acres the Hybrid Plan,14.4% includes representatives interests as well designated spaces for as infrastructure limitations.

MIXED-USE CENTER:

PHS-MU1: 200,000 sf + Multi-Family (5 years)

COMMERCE PARK

PHS-C1 51 acres for 5-8 years

PHS-C2 74 acres, held in perpetuity

FLEX1 46 acres for up to 10 years

FLEX2 100 acres for 15-20 years

(5 -10 years) beyond interchange

Inspire Luxury Apartments in Beulah

Luxury apartments are being a month. The first of three developed in Beulah just buildings was completed in PUBLIC AMENITIES

minutes away fromP-PH1 Navy late 2020,+and residents began Amenities Trails

P-PH2 Amenities + Trails

Federal’s campus on Nine to move into the apartments Mile Road. These apartments starting in January. Two include luxury amenities additional buildings are under RESIDENTIAL such as a saltwater pool, pet construction PHS-R1 < 5 years and are expected spa and a three-story fitness 8toyears

be completed by June 2021. PHS-R2 years

center. ApartmentsPHS-R3 range from 11 Visit liveinspirepensacola.com one to three-bedroom units to take a virtual tour. starting from $1,095 to $2,005 36 | Business Climate | 2021 / 2022 Annual Real Estate

FLEX 2

PHS-C2 FLEX 1

PHS-R2

PHS-R3 PHS-C1 PHS-R1

PHS-MU1

Proposed Phasing


IN DEVELOPMENT

aDoor Redfish Harbor in Perdido Redfish Harbor is a 92 home, private subdivision. The first phase for this project is estimated to be completed by Spring of 2021. These homes will have a variety of floor plans that will range from $400,000 to about $542,000. This subdivision will have a gated pool and community dock, along with a marina that hosting

boat slips that will be 14 feet wide and 40 feet deep. There will also be a step-down for future residents who may enjoy kayaking or paddle boarding. According to Megan GilroyTriolo, ten of these homes are already under contract. For more information on this upcoming subdivision, contact aDoor Properties at 850-637-1880.

aDoor Corte De La Rua Downtown Corte De La Rua is a beautiful property in the heart downtown Pensacola that will soon be home to four beautiful townhomes. The property is east of Palafox and will boast a private road to the back where the garages of the townhomes will be. These homes will be approximately 2200-square-feet and three stories high. aDoor hopes to break ground soon for this project and has an estimated completion date of either the end of 2021, or the beginning of 2022. While pricing has not been set, these homes are estimated to be about $800,000 each.

aDoor Dixon Preserve Subdivision/ D.R. Horton Homes Subdivision Dixon Preserve Subdivision was developed by aDoor Properties, and subsequently sold to D.R. Horton. According to aDoor Properties, after the purchase is finalized, this beautiful 30-acre piece of property will become a D.R.

Horton Homes subdivision. This property has been parceled into 105 lots, but construction has not yet broken ground. Dixon Preserve is located in Pace in central Santa Rosa County on the west side of Chumuckla Highway.

nwflbusinessclimate.com | Business Climate | 37


IN DEVELOPMENT

East Hill Viviendo East Hill Viviendo will offer its residents both the comfort of a beautiful neighborhood and the nearness of Pensacola’s downtown. Phase 1 of these single-family homes will range from $650,000 to $700,000 with floorplans ranging from 2,200 to 2,600-square-feet. Phase 2 will have slightly smaller floorplans ranging from 2,100 to 2,300-square-feet and

prices beginning at $500,000. Construction for Phase 2 has just broken ground and is expected to be completed by the beginning of 2022. Kuhn Realty reports that they have already sold 10 of the 17 available townhomes. For more information on these new homes, contact Kuhn Realty at kuhnrealty.com or call (850) 384-9707.

Lakes of Woodbine The Lakes of Woodbine are a residential development located on the west side of Woodbine Rd. in Pace. It is a planned, 240 acre property that will consist of single family homes, athletic and hospitable amenities and a commercial development for the community as well. The commercial development will include a coffee shop, hair salon, healthcare and storage amenities, among others. The Lakes of Woodbine will be developed in order to protect the surrounding environment in its most natural state. Construction started in 2019. Residential development is expected to take eight years, while commercial development is expected to only take two to five years.

COMMERCIAL

COMMERCIAL RESIDENTIAL AMENITY

38 | Business Climate | 2021 / 2022 Annual Real Estate


IN DEVELOPMENT

Hawkshaw Property

Photo by Guy Stevens

The Village at Wright Street The Village at Wright Street is a new concept coming to Downtown Pensacola. The model for the concept will be finished by April. The lead developers on the project are David Richbourg and Norman Ricks, who used their travels overseas as the influence for their Spanish-colonial concept for the development. There are three different styled units. Each unit will have three bedrooms with two and a half bathrooms and a one

Hawkshaw Property has been a project in the works for the past six years with Caldwell Associates and the City of Pensacola. It is a 2.2 acre plot of land across the street from Aragon Court. It is for commercial and residential development, but the project has been on hold for at least two years now.

There are 15,000-squarefeet for commercial space development, as well as space for 39 residential units as well. The projected ideas of the project is to have a lot of diversity in the buildings and architecture so the project doesn’t look the same throughout. Photo by Guy Stevens

car garage with an electric car charging station included. Each unit will also have a rooftop terrace, with connections to hook up a hot tub. Units are built to be wired as smart homes from the start as well. Larger units will be 2,361-square-feet. The smaller units will be 2,033-squarefeet. Each unit will also come with a whole home generator and an elevator. Units will range from $950,000 to $1.15 million.

Savoy Place

Photo by Guy Stevens

Savoy Place is making room on its first floor for more apartments. Construction is starting in June, with an estimated six month buildout. The apartments will be two bedrooms and about 1,000-square-feet The drawings are not quite finalized at this time, but it is a more open concept with higher ceilings than the regular apartments Savoy Place offers. Amenities include a courtyard with gas grills and outdoor exercise equipment. An app is also in the works exclusively for residents of Savoy Place. Price for each unit has yet to be determined as of right now.

nwflbusinessclimate.com | Business Climate | 39


IN DEVELOPMENT

Yellow River Ranch

The Spring Coworking Space A program of the Studer Community Institute, The Spring Entrepreneur Hub seeks to provide small business owners with mentorship, resources, and assistance to build or grow their business. The Spring is opening up its new co-working space in the SCI building’s first floor on the intersection of Garden

and Spring Street in April 2021. The co-working space is 3,000-square-feet of shared desk spaces that will serve as a “hive of entrepreneurial activity,” said CEO D.C. Reeves. Affordable memberships are available on a sliding scale of varying access to certain programming and features four different price points.

Billed as a golf course community without the golf course, Yellow River Ranch is a 1,421-acre community currently under construction in Milton, Florida. Yellow River will offer over 450 acres of open space, almost 100 acres

of lakes, and miles of walking, jogging, and biking trails. Amenities include a clubhouse, swimming pool and tennis courts. Builders for the project include Flynn Built, Holiday Builders and Truland Homes.

ALDI Stores The German discount supermarket chain Aldi has had plans to open a location both in Pensacola and Navarre since 2019. According to the 2019 Commercial Development Story map for Santa Rosa County, on October 2, 2019, there was a development order for a 19,209 square foot ALDI

at 8816 Navarre Pkwy. As for a Pensacola location, according to the Escambia County Development Orders, there was an approval on March 25, 2020 for an ALDI grocery store at 2950 Blue Angel Pkwy. There are no further updates beyond this for an ALDI grocery store in the area.

Publix in Beulah

Publix in Milton

Publix is coming to Beulah alongside 11 retail locations featured in the project. Navy Federal Credit Union’s growing campus has caused Beulah to grow in recent years as a community. An issue among residents is the lack of shopping centers and grocery stores in Beulah. There is a 3.5 percent annual growth rate in the area

Milton is a city that has started to see a lot of growth in recent years. They are growing even more with the addition of a new Publix and a shopping center on Dogwood Drive. This shopping center will be about 66,000-square-feet, with 46,000-square-feet dedicated

and it is growing quickly. Construction is expected to be finished at the beginning of this summer. Some of the tenants include national and local restaurants, hair and nail salons, and a Publix liquor store.

40 | Business Climate | 2021 / 2022 Annual Real Estate

to the Publix. There will be two additional buildings in a strip mall style for the remaining 20,000-square-feet, as well as a 1.3 acre outparcel in the southwest section of the property. Construction has not yet broken ground but is expected to begin in May.


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Shoppes at E Nine Mile Rd. The Shoppes at E. Nine Mile Rd. are a finished development, with a few spaces to lease for rent. There are currently two units available for rent in the Shoppes at E. Nine Mile Rd. Unit two, a 1,200 square foot unit is available for lease, as well as Unit six, which is a 2,200 square foot unit. Rent prices start at $18.00 a square foot. The development is currently home to Elan Beauty Bar, Drift Boutique, and Saltwater Nutrition.

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West 9 Mile Town Center The West 9 Mile Town Center is a new development currently under construction. The completion date is expected to be finished August 2021. Unit sizes are expected to range from 1,400 to 4,200-square-feet. It will hold a total of 18 units. Three units, six, seven, and 18 are already leased out, but it is not clear who has leased out the units already. Base rent starts out at $19 a square foot.

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COMMERCIAL REAL 2021 ESTATE OUTLOOK by DeeDee Davis, Owner/Broker NAI Pensacola Commercial Real Estate

Despite the disruption to business and to life in general caused by the pandemic, 2020 still ended up being a very good year for commercial real estate. Don’t get me wrong, there were plenty of challenges and a multitude of hurdles to cross, but most of us in this profession emerged stronger and smarter. There is nothing like learning under duress and pressure. When you are trying to maintain cash flow, keep employees working, and keep morale up, it’s amazing how creative you can become. Look at what our restaurants did to stay alive. Expanded outdoor dining, curbside pickup, delivery and utilization of third- party delivery services have become a way of life. Thank goodness for a mild climate that allows Floridians to enjoy outdoor seating when so many across the nation can barely venture outside their homes, much less sit outside on a patio for dinner. Now that COVID-19 vaccines are a reality, the rest of the country will start to experience a more normal dining experience. We have seen restaurants close in our region, and while COVID and the bridge are part of the problem, there is more to the picture because we have also seen plenty of leases being signed for new restaurants.

46 | Business Climate | 2021 / 2022 Annual Real Estate

2020 began with a stable carry over of a very strong 2019. Mandatory shutdowns imposed by government did cause a pretty significant pause in business. But we paused here, rather than crashed. Being a small market does have some positives, and one of them is that we are postured to respond quicker to changing conditions. We have seen the market not only stabilize, but flourish following reopening. The hardest hit industries such as lodging and restaurants, however, will take longer to recover. Experts say it could be three years before they are back to a pre-pandemic bottom line. Primary conditions pointing to a strong 2021 certainly key on low

interest rates. The Fed has promised to keep rates low for the foreseeable future. These low rates, plus Florida having no state income tax, makes Florida a safe and desirable place to invest. Buyer demand is high, as in the residential market, and inventory is shrinking. Investment properties in our market are increasingly difficult to find. This is yet another example of how important it is to have a strong real estate broker in your stable of professionals. These are the ones who know when a property is becoming available before it ever actually goes on the market, and in a tertiary market like ours, this knowledge is vital. The first indication of a change in the market will be beefed up inventories, a sure sign that buying has cooled.


vacant land along Highway 98, these are rapidly disappearing to mixed-use development. Transportation is going to be hard pressed to keep up. In the early days of the pandemic, we were fearful that fitness centers would dry up, and thankfully, that has not been the case. Look for expansions and new endeavors in this industry as people focus more than ever on health. Gym owners and managers are among that creative class that found a way to survive. Smaller classes, more obvious attention to cleanliness and simple COVID fatigue have kept the loyals and attracted new members as well.

Rent growth has held tight, despite crazy world conditions. Landlords have seen an upward tick in rent, and this will continue through 2021. However, shorter term leases are going to be the new norm. Where 5-10 years was once industry standard, nerves have established 3-5 years as more acceptable moving forward. Land sales are through the roof and look for continued development from Gulf Breeze Proper through Navarre. Where there were once pockets of

E-commerce will continue to thrive as people have become more comfortable ordering consumer goods from smart devices. While it was almost a requirement during pandemic months, it is now a convenience, and convenience is the name of the game moving forward. Retailers who have the capability to make these decisions quickly and ahead of the trends are the ones who will differentiate themselves from the others. This is another big reason why our market will bounce back quicker than big cities. Mom and Pop operations don’t have to wait for corporate decisions to trickle down to day-to-day operations. There is still plenty of uncertainty in the days that lay ahead, but commercial real estate pros have been putting down the groundwork for what is expected to be a very productive year. 

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RESIDENTIALREAL ESTATEOUTLOOK N ELECTION, A PANDEMIC AND A HURRICANE. These major events all served as the backdrop for the local real estate market this past year, and while each certainly had its own significant impact, it’s the confluence of these events that has created a truly historic and unprecedented time for the greater Pensacola real estate market. Residential real estate as a whole fared well through a generally turbulent and somewhat bleak economic outlook in 2020, and barring any black swan events, residential real estate will continue to lead our local economy’s recovery. Of course, I must preface this by saying that, like most real estate professionals, one of the questions I get asked most frequently is, “What’s going to happen in the market?” Now more than ever, the answer begins: “Well, I don’t have a crystal ball…” As it goes with trying to predict the future of the market, anyone who speaks with any definitive authority on what’s coming next is fooling themselves, and the events of this past year are evidence of that. Who could’ve expected the effects of a worldwide pandemic on interest rates and building supply chains? That being said, there are a few leading indicators of what is to come, and while there are certainly some challenges

48 | Business Climate | 2021 / 2022 Annual Real Estate

on the horizon, there are also a number of hopeful opportunities. It goes without saying, but COVID had and will continue to have a tremendous influence on the real estate market. There are no definitive numbers yet, but many analysts are anticipating that smaller communities will experience an influx of residents, especially the state of Florida, which has consistently been one of the fastest-growing states in the U.S. This growth is also reflected in our local

by John David Ellis

community as, for the first time in recent history, there is a positive trend in our community’s population. The impact of COVID on telework leaves the Panhandle uniquely poised to offer a relatively affordable cost of living as compared to the rest of the country, and in a world where you can work from anywhere, why wouldn’t you want to work from a place like greater Pensacola? Call me biased. One significant force that can drive or derail the market is mortgage rates. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has repeatedly said that interest rates will remain low to further economic recovery efforts, but there’s growing concern that because of anticipated economic growth and inflation, mortgage rates will edge higher. In recent weeks, that has been the case. Average rates for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage increased by 40 basis points from February to March of this year. What does that mean for someone in Pensacola’s real estate market? Quite simply, money is more expensive to borrow, and when money gets more expensive to borrow, the consumer can’t afford to pay as much for


a home. This dynamic is largely responsible for the current run up in values, and while home values appear to have increased dramatically, mortgage rates are still at historic lows despite this recent spike. Another critical factor in current real estate values is the sheer lack of inventory available. The Pensacola Association of REALTORS® has been consistently registering all time records for most pending sales and fewest available listings. For instance, nearly 800 homes were sold in the month of January of this year, which is up 21 percent year over year, and the most ever recorded for the month of January. Supply has not been able to keep up with the current demand and has driven inventory levels to less than a month and a half of available homes, and will likely remain at low levels for the foreseeable future. Historically low interest rates have allowed homeowners to refinance, giving them the ability to stay longer in their current home, rather than “trade up.” This has been a huge benefit to many homeowners, but it further compounds the inventory issue. There are also a significant number of homeowners that are still navigating the insurance claims and repair process following Hurricane Sally that made landfall this past September. This has delayed some inventory that would have otherwise been available. In addition, nationwide moratoriums on evictions and foreclosures as a result of COVID have almost entirely eliminated the inventory of distressed properties,

“The amount of growth we are experiencing, if managed correctly, can push Pensacola toward the kind of community that so many have desired for so long: one that is vibrant and diverse, one that can grow and support small businesses while attracting new industry, and one that is desirable for the talent we have and the talent we need.” which account for less than two percent of total sales in our market currently. So where can we expect inventory to come from? The construction industry is generally reactive to housing needs, and we’re no different in the Panhandle. There are thousands of homes in various stages of permitting throughout Escambia and Santa Rosa County, but rising costs of labor and building materials have throttled the speed with which homes can and will be constructed. The City of Pensacola alone issued 513 new residential permits in 2020, though many of those homes have not been completed and brought to market yet. In fact, according to the City’s

permitting website, a mere 36 were closed out in 2020. If that’s any indication of how many new construction permits we can expect to be closed in 2021, one can better understand how we came to have such low inventory. At this point, you’re probably wondering where the hopeful part comes in, since rising interest rates and low inventory levels sound anything but. The truth is, generally speaking, these are good problems to have. The amount of growth we are experiencing, if managed correctly, can push Pensacola toward the kind of community that so many have desired for so long: one that is vibrant and diverse, one that can grow and support small businesses while attracting new industry and one that is desirable for the talent we have and the talent we need. There is still a long and uncertain road ahead, but Pensacola is resilient, and we are rising to the occasion. •

John David Ellis is the broker and owner of Voyage Real Estate, a neighborhood real estate company that is charting a new course to put people and place first.

nwflbusinessclimate.com | Business Climate | 49


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Moorhead Real Estate Law Group

Welcomes Robert J. Powell to the Firm as Partner degree in Business Administration with honors from the University of Florida. After a few years selling real estate in Destin and South Walton, Powell earned his Juris Doctorate degree with honors from the Florida State University College of Law. From there, Powell launched his career as a business litigator. In the second year of his practice, Powell successfully briefed and argued a high-stakes fidelity bond case before the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. He gained extensive experience during the Great Recession in the commercial loan enforcement and bankruptcy arena. Powell has routinely served as special counsel to bankruptcy trustees, clawing back assets and funds to enhance recoveries for those holding claims against the bankrupt debtor. As lead counsel, Powell tackled a multimillion-dollar Ponzi scheme involving fabricated real estate investments. Powell’s diverse business litigation background and nearly 12 years of experience have earned him an extensive list of clients ranging from small businesses to publicly-traded companies, insurers, hoteliers, developers, brokers, commercial landlords and individuals. Powell’s unwavering commitment to excellent client service has garnered him several awards. He was named Florida Super Lawyers Rising Star — an accolade rewarded to only 2.5 percent of attorneys in the state. He was selected for Florida Trend Legal Elite “Up and Comer”, reserved for the top 1.4 percent of Florida lawyers. Moorhead Real Estate Law Group — an AV® Preeminent™ rated law firm — recently onboarded a new partner with an impressive litigation background. Licensed to practice in Florida and Alabama, Robert Powell comes to the firm well-versed in business litigation, real estate, bankruptcy and commercial matters, making him a welcome addition to the firm. Powell will manage the firm’s litigation practice with a focus on the following areas of practice: real estate litigation; commercial litigation and business disputes; bankruptcy and creditor’s rights; and probate and trust litigation. “We are delighted to have Robert join the leadership team at Moorhead Law. He has shown himself to be an exceptional business leader with specialties in commercial litigation, bankruptcy, and real estate disputes,” said Steve Moorhead, the firm’s founder, and Managing Partner. As a Florida native with deep Panhandle roots, it was only fitting for Powell to build his career in the Sunshine State — following in the footsteps of his father who has practiced law in Fort Walton Beach since the early 1970s. He earned his Bachelors of Science

When Powell isn’t hard at work, he is traveling with his wife Alex and their three children, enjoying a Florida Gators football game or coaching his son’s soccer team. If that doesn’t keep him busy enough, he also volunteers with numerous organizations, such as Emerald Coast Legal Aid and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida, where he sits on the board of directors. “It is an honor to join the preeminent real estate law firm in Northwest Florida as a partner, and I am thrilled to practice with the immensely talented group that Steve has assembled. With a simple philosophy of putting clients and community first, the future is bright at the Moorhead Real Estate Law Group!” Robert Powell said. About Moorhead Real Estate Law Group: Moorhead Real Estate Law Group is located in downtown Pensacola, Florida. The firm focuses on real estate law, business law, community association law, probate law, and estate planning. Their experienced attorneys serve clients in Pensacola, Destin, and Northwest Florida and also represent clients in Alabama.

850.202.8522 www.moorheadlaw.com


Proposed Demolition of Downtown Waterfront Buildings Underscores

the Importance of Preservation

By Drew Buchanan

A pair of century-old buildings along the waterfront of downtown Pensacola will soon be demolished. The City of Pensacola Planning Board approved a request to demolish two waterfront buildings on South Palafox Street this month—both at least 110-yearsold—marking the latest likely casualties in a succession of historic Pensacola buildings to meet the wrecking ball. One of the buildings, located at 711 South Palafox Street, is at least 110-years-old and has been home to the longtime downtown business Scuba Shack, which has operated area diving charters for 40 years. Gene Ferguson and Eilene Beard announced in February that after the impacts of Hurricane Sally and the COVID-19 pandemic that it was time to close their doors, leaving the fate of the century-old buildings uncertain. Around 1910, Morris Bear—heir to one of the country’s oldest beer distributors, the Lewis Bear Company—constructed the building, housing Alexander Zelius’ ship chandlery until about 1917. Zelius, a Norwegian immigrant, was one of downtown Pensacola’s most prominent merchants and served as viceconsul for Norway, Russia and

the Netherlands during an era that saw Pensacola become one of the nation’s busiest ports. Next door, an even older building stands at 713 South Palafox, built in 1907 as Pensacola Gas Engine & Supply Co. and later serving as the home to Dave Witherill’s Boat Store through to the latter half of the 20th century. The structure, formerly the longtime home of Bayfront Gallery, has sat unused after Hurricane Ivan ravaged the downtown waterfront in late 2004. Both buildings are among the last remnants of what used to be Pensacola’s original “Little Norway’’ community, when Norweigan was among the most common languages spoken within the city. The immigrant community in Pensacola of the time was on par with other

52 | Business Climate | 2021 / 2022 Annual Real Estate

Photo taken in 1961, courtesy of UWF Historic Trust. major ports like New York, Chicago and New Orleans. The turn-of-the-century structures were built during the boom of the downtown waterfront when the fishing and lumber industries dominated the city’s economy. A century ago, the South Palafox corridor was lined by an uninterrupted succession of buildings serving the historic waterfront—from ship chandeliers and fish houses to saloons and houses of worship. Over time, nearly all such structures have been razed, largely replaced with surface parking lots or condominiums. With the demolitions approved this month, just three properties older than 50 years will remain on the Palafox Street waterfront. Thanks to the City of Pensacola’s new historic building demolition review ordinance, the city’s

Architectural Review Board (ARB) in December deemed that the buildings were found to be “potentially significant” in their contribution to local architecture and proximity to the city’s Palafox historic district, which does not include structures on the western side of South Palafox Street south of Main Street. Given the building’s potentially historical significance, the ARB mandated in December that the properties undergo a demolition review delay of 60 days. “The pink building hasn’t been occupied for 25 years,” developer and property owner Jim English stated at the ARB meeting in December, arguing that the former Bayfront Gallery building and facade have deteriorated beyond repair. While the building has only been left unused for 15 years, the previous owner


Photo taken in June 1969, by David F. S. Galloway, courtesy of UWF Historic Trust. potentially allowing more funding and grant opportunities to preserve historic structures that remain within the city. “I think this is something we should be building towards,” Hill said of the commission. “As we celebrate the 200th anniversary of Escambia County, I think we should be doing everything we can to save the remaining history we have left.”

“Preservation maintains a connection to our past while allowing us to leave our mark on the future. It provides public education and tourism opportunities. It chronicles the lived experiences of Americans excluded from history books, who were never memorialized in monuments, markers or murals.” did allow the buildings to allegedly fall into disrepair. “We would like to demolish these buildings and replace it with another building,” English said before the ARB, stating that he did not yet have concrete plans for the replacement of the structures before their demolition. As part of the demolition review, English, along with architect and former city councilman Brian Spencer, have said they envision building up to three condominiums on the site, similar to new developments abutting the property. North of the buildings, nine luxury condominiums were completed in 2018 as part of the 701 South Palafox development led by developer Ray Russenberger along with Spencer. Directly south, the Admiral’s Row development is under construction by the same men and is proposed to create up to 17 new high-end condos across three buildings. The wave of new development along the corridor marks a stark transformation of the Palafox waterfront as 19th and early 20th century buildings have slowly been razed to make way for dozens of new condominiums.

of West Florida and member of the city’s Architectural Review Board, stated that while the buildings did not reside in a city-recognized historic district, it was important to review and appreciate the contributions the structures had to the downtown area. “This side of Palafox, for whatever reason, never got put in the historic district,” said Pristera. “Across the street is the Palafox Historic Business District — if this was across the street, it would probably be considered a historic structure.” “I know I can’t stop the demolition, but it’s more to bring awareness to these situations we’re seeing throughout the city,” Pristera added. Unlike neighboring states and cities, the State of Florida and Pensacola do not offer much in the way of incentives or grants for

property owners and developers to preserve and restore historic structures. Regionally, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama provide state historic tax credits, which are considered important tools for historic preservation and economic development. Such programs provide a percentage credit back on all qualifying historic building rehabilitation expenditures and can often be combined with federal tax credits and grants. As a result, many cities and towns in these states have worked to preserve a majority of their remaining historic structures, rather than letting them fall to the wrecking ball. Councilwoman Ann Hill, who represents the downtown area on the Pensacola City Council, believes that the city should work to create a historic preservation ordinance to establish a city commission that would work with property owners to register and preserve historic buildings,

Newly-elected Councilwoman Teniadé Broughton echoed Hill’s hopes for prioritizing historic preservation in Pensacola, pointing out that preservation provides a significant economic and cultural impact on the local community. “Preservation maintains a connection to our past while allowing us to leave our mark on the future,” Broughton said. “It provides public education and tourism opportunities. It chronicles the lived experiences of Americans excluded from history books, who were never memorialized in monuments, markers or murals.” Putting perspective into the lost history of the downtown waterfront, Pristera added that at least people could still enjoy one thing about the waterfront’s history. “We do have the mural across the street that shows what this area once looked like,” Pristera said. •

Photo by Garrett Hallbauer

Ross Pristera, Historic Preservationist for the University nwflbusinessclimate.com | Business Climate | 53


AROUND THE REGION Pensacola State College Foundation Brings Virtual Training to Navy Federal Leaders, Hopes Other Organizations Jump on Board Pensacola State College Foundation’s Nonprofit Center for Excellence and Philanthropy is partnering with Navy Federal Credit Union to provide extensive training for its team members who serve on over 50 boards throughout the country. The extra step taken to fund training stems from the credit union’s commitment to serve in its communities. “The Navy Federal team is consistent in showing up and pouring back into their communities,” said Andrea Krieger, executive director of institutional development for Pensacola State College Foundation. “By providing funding for this training, Navy Federal gives us the ability to share tools and resources that

can elevate the expertise these leaders already have so they can best serve their organizations.” The three-part virtual training series will focus on board service fundamentals such as strategic planning, fundraising, and governance. The Nonprofit Center also offers various workshops and will soon announce the launch of a new certificate program for fund development professionals. “Given the challenges of this past year, organizations, especially nonprofits, simply do not have the budget to provide training to their boards,” said Krieger. “When business leaders and organizations like Navy Federal prioritize this kind of professional

development, it reaps tremendous benefits for everyone involved.” Navy Federal leaders who serve on boards are part of the credit union’s newly formed Community Board Service Program, which encompasses employees from the Greater Pensacola area as well as Navy Federal's Headquarters and Winchester Operations Center in Virginia. In 2020, Navy Federal also added the benefit of eight paid volunteer leave hours per year to every team member. “Our team members often mend their passion and purpose together when giving back,” said Jennifer McFarren, Navy Federal’s manager of community and education outreach. “The pandemic has not

slowed their willingness to be engaged in volunteer efforts and serve in leadership capacities to support the mission of impactful organizations we partner with.” In 2019, the Pensacola State College Foundation launched a nonprofit center to help support training and education of nonprofit professionals and the key volunteers who make the social sector in Northwest Florida a vibrant source of support for those in need. To learn more about the Nonprofit Center and its training opportunities, please visit foundation.pensacolastate.edu or send an email to nonprofitcenter@ pensacolastate.edu.

Navy Federal Credit Union Recognized on the Fortune 100 Best Companies To Work For® List, 10 Years in a Row Navy Federal Credit Union was named, for the 10th year in a row, one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For® by Great Place to Work® and Fortune. Navy Federal has received this award 11 years total, and remains the only credit union on the list. “We have a strong culture of service at Navy Federal, and we know it starts with how we treat our team members”, said Mary McDuffie, president/CEO of Navy Federal. “During this past year, we had to lean on one another more than ever, which only strengthened our culture.” In awarding Navy Federal, Fortune noted that: • 96% of employees consider the employee benefits offered

to be special and unique. • 95% of Navy Federal employees are proud to tell others where they work. • 94% of employees feel good about the ways Navy Federal contributes to the community. • 91% of employees feel treated as an equal employee, regardless of position level. Rankings are based on employee surveys. However, this year’s methodology represents a change in response to the unique circumstances of 2020 – with 60% of each company’s score based on confidential employee feedback and the remaining 40% based on the programs each company said they created to support their people and communities in response to the pandemic.

54 | Business Climate | 2021 / 2022 Annual Real Estate

“We have been very focused on making sure the Navy Federal culture remains vibrant, especially with the majority of team members working from home and facing high levels of stress in their personal lives,” said Holly Kortright, chief human resources officer for Navy Federal. “Whether it be pivoting to create virtual wellness programs or allowing our teams flexibility during these challenging times, this award only reinforces the good work done to keep our team members our top priority.” In addition to the Fortune 100 selection, Navy Federal is regularly recognized for its quality work environment that allows for continuous learning through training and development and family- like corporate atmosphere. The credit union ranked #16

on the Best Work Places in Financial Services and Insurance list in 2021, #13 on the Best Workplaces for Women list, and #20 on the Best Work Places for Millennials list in 2020. Established in 1933 with only seven members, Navy Federal now has the distinct honor of serving over 10 million members globally and is the world’s largest credit union. As a member-owned and not-forprofit organization, Navy Federal always puts the financial needs of its members first. Membership is open to all branches of the armed forces and their families. Dedicated to its mission of service, Navy Federal employs a workforce of over 22,000 and has a global network of 344 branches. For more information about Navy Federal Credit Union, visit navyfederal.org.


AROUND THE REGION 2021 Pace Award Winners Each year, the Pensacola Area Commitment to Excellence (PACE) Awards honor outstanding individuals who have made significant contributions to Greater Pensacola’s overall economic progress. This event is the Pensacola region’s preeminent celebration of the community’s visionary entrepreneurs, business and civic leaders and exemplary corporate citizens. The 2021 P.A.C.E Awards were held on March 3 at the Pensacola Blue Wahoos Stadium. Here are the winners.

Emerging Leader of the Year – DC Reeves, Perfect Plain Brewery Advocate Leader of the Year – Brian Wyer, Gulf Coast Minority Chamber of Commerce Community Leader of the Year – Lisa Lyter, Red Iron Design Studio Business Leader of the Year – Norris Avayzian, Peaden Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical Professional Leader of the Year – Dr. David Josephs, Lakeview Center Spirit of Pensacola – Mary & Dave Hoxeng, ADX Communications

PSC Unveils State-of-the-Art Baars Technology Building Pensacola State College unveiled its new state-of-the-art Baars Technology Building during a ribbon cutting ceremony Friday morning on the Pensacola campus. The $15 million—23,839-squarefoot—two-story facility will be home to the College’s STEM programs, including cybersecurity, mathematics, computer science and other high-tech fields of study. It replaces the Mary Ellison Baars Building. Demolished in January 2019, the Mary Ellison Baars Building was 60 years old and the College’s oldest structure. It was named in honor of the Baars family matriarch for making the original property available to the College. “Pensacola State College was Florida’s first junior college established under the Minimum Foundation Program in 1947. We started in a downtown Pensacola boarding house, but the original Mary Ellison Baars Building was the first structure built at the Ninth Avenue location,” PSC President

Ed Meadows said. “That original building served the College and this community well for more than six decades. Today, we are cutting the ribbon on a cybersecurity facility that sits in the same footprint as that historic facility. It continues the Baars’ family vision of supporting higher education. Future generations will be educated and trained in this new building for many decades to come.”

is the College’s “fastest-growing program.” “We offer associate and baccalaureate level degrees in cybersecurity,” he added. “There are over 4,000 cybersecurity job vacancies in Northwest Florida. These are good-paying jobs. There will be no shortage of opportunities for our graduates who will be prepared for the workforce

Members of the Baars family were on hand to help cut the ribbon on the new facility along with local elected officials, the College’s Board of Trustees, PSC Foundation Board of Governors, PSC Alumni Association board members, administrators and faculty. Attendees also toured the new facility, which has a cybersecurity center, Cyber Warfare Range, classrooms, laboratories and offices.

Kirk Bradley, dean of Baccalaureate Studies and Academic Support, said faculty members and students are excited to move into the building. “It couldn’t come at a better time because our cybersecurity program is growing. This will allow

Some math and cybersecurity classes will move into the new building during the current spring term, said Meadows, who added cybersecurity

The new facility is Phase I of a project that will eventually include a Phase II west-wing building that will house other high-tech programs

because of this new facility.”

us to expand our program to serve even more students interested in careers in cybersecurity,” Bradley said.

such as advanced manufacturing. The total cost for both wings is estimated at around $35 million. Robert Pratten, the College’s cybersecurity program coordinator, said the new facility will allow the College to serve its students. “The building will allow us to expand the program and provide more class offerings per term,’’ he said. “We are currently stretched to the max in trying to provide classes for all of our students. Now we can offer classes with leading-edge technology in the classroom, keeping pace with the industry and technological advances.” Ajax Building Corp. was the general contractor for the project, which Florida Architects designed. For more information, contact Sheila Nichols, Pensacola State’s executive director of marketing and information, at 850-484-1428 or snichols@pensacolastate.edu.

nwflbusinessclimate.com | Business Climate | 55


AROUND THE REGION Prohealth Announces New Medical Clinic in Pensacola Danette Krumel, President of ProHealth, announces a new medical clinic will open in Pensacola on Monday, April 19. ProHealth will relocate its clinic from inside the Everwell Pharmacy on Davis Highway to the newly built, First City Health facility. It is at 6005 College Parkway, next to the Sam’s Club gas station and across from Booker T. Washington High School. The new ProHealth Medical Clinic will be open Monday –

Friday from 8 AM to 4 PM and Saturday 8 AM to 12 PM. The move stems from ProHealth’s growth over the past few years and will benefit ProHealth patients and members by offering a larger clinic, allowing for more services with the same distinguished medical staff. In addition to the usual services offered, the new clinic will now offer Rapid RT-PCR COVID testing to assist the community with travel and return to work.

ProHealth’s President, Danette Krumel, comments, “Our medical clinic teams have worked diligently to improve the health of thousands in our community for over a decade. We aim to always save our patient’s time and money. We know how important it is for people to have access to quality medical care when they need it. Now, we have the space to better accommodate all patient needs.” ProHealth shares the building with other health and wellness experts,

such as First City Drugs Pharmacy and Natural Healing Massage. ProHealth was founded in 1985 and provides affordable primary, preventative, and semi/ non-emergent medical care, as well as occupational health services, affordable lab work, COVID-19 testing and much more at nine locations spanning Northwest Florida. For more information, visit ProHealthFL. com or call 850-434-6168.

Women’s Council of Realtors Top Gun Masquerade Gala The 2021 Women’s Council of Realtors hosted a Masquerade Gala to honor the 2020 Top Guns. Speakers included Amy Snook, 2021 President Women’s Council of Realtors Florida and Quint Studer.

56 | Business Climate | 2021 / 2022 Annual Real Estate


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HELPING CHILDREN REACH HOME THROUGH HEARTFELT ADVOCACY Congratulations to Chris Madison! Chris Madison has been named April’s Volunteer Child Advocate of the Month by the Guardian ad Litem (GAL) program, 1st Circuit, Florida. Chris has volunteered for the program for 17 months and has already served ten children. Alisha Garcia, GAL Child Advocate Manager in Pensacola, said, “Chris is someone who our children look forward to seeing. With his fun and safe outings and ability to be empathetic and listen, his very presence resonates as someone who truly cares.” He has the unique ability to make every child feel special and serves from his

heart. Recently Chris accepted an assignment with seven children who are siblings together in foster care—an incredible responsibility for one volunteer. Chris works full-time at NAS Pensacola and still makes time to serve the most vulnerable among us— children who have been removed from their homes because they were abused, abandoned or neglected. Chris only wants what is best for every child that he serves and lives by our slogan, “I Am For The Child”. Congratulations Chris, from the Guardian ad Litem Program, and thank you on behalf of our kids!

April is National Volunteer Month. Guardian ad Litem would like to thank all of the men and women who volunteer as advocates for the children in Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa and Walton Counties. These volunteers visit children in their foster homes or relative placements and ensure that they are in a safe and caring environment. They represent the best interest of the children during court hearings and provide important information to the court.

To become a GAL volunteer, call Joan Irby at 850-637-9689.

Give a child a voice today! DONATE • VOLUNTEER

Visit nwfgal.org to find out how.

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Northwest Florida Guardian ad Litem Foundation, Inc. Hours: Mon–Fri, 9am–5pm

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Business Climate Annual Real Estate Issue 2021  

Business Climate Annual Real Estate Issue 2021  

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