Council accepts bid for $35M plans for former Hawkshaw neighborhood

Council accepts bid for $35M plans for former Hawkshaw neighborhood

Downtown Pensacola could become a gleaming, vibrant village under a plan that will need the city's approval.

Pensacola officials are moving forward with plans to add a $35 million dollar mixed-use development downtown.

It's a property the city has been looking to sell for more than a decade.

On Thursday, Pensacola city council voted to accept a bid for a $35 million three-story condominium and retail development in Pensacola's former Hawkshaw neighborhood.

"If everything sells out at the price we think it will, it will bring over $600,000 a year in taxes, new taxes into the city," said commercial developer Bob Montgomery.

Montgomery said the project would include 39 living spaces, a bar, and restaurant, along with 6,500 square feet of office space.

Montgomery said his plan will give the city a chance to review how the neighborhood has changed and how multi-family developments fit there. It'll also determine whether the current infrastructure is appropriate for the higher population.

"It'll bring more residents to the city. There are a lot of people who will be moving into the city anyhow as you know there are 250 apartment units that Mr. Studer is putting right up the street," explained Montgomery.

For years, city council has looked to revive the area with no success.

"The Aragon area has experienced slower growth than what was originally anticipated when this property became available for what people see today," said Pensacola City Councilman Brian Spencer.

The councilman said he supports the idea because it will improve the quality of life in the urban core.

"It is the closest in resemblance to what the council has asked for urban design associates to create and that is some sort of model of high density that properly, what I would say held the corner," Spencer added.

Montgomery said he hopes the project will breathe new life into the gateway to downtown Pensacola.

"It's more opportunity for people to locate in the city. We have an unusual situation with the restaurant because we will have parking right there on the site, and the views are as good, if not better, than anywhere from these condominium units and from the restaurants," Montgomery said.

Construction could begin anywhere from six to eight months after it is approved by city council.

City council will meet September 11th to decide whether to move forward with the project.

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