New Walmart in PCB?

by June 28, 2011 • 58 comments

A recent traffic study indicates there might be a new Walmart coming to Panama City Beach.  The traffic study is said to be standard operating procedure when it comes to putting in a large retailer such as a Walmart.  The goal is to get a better understanding of the local traffic, the ingress and egress environment and get a first blush analysis of if this would actually work.

The site that the study is focused around is the parcel of land directly across Powell Adams road from the Pier Park Target.  The traffic study explores the addition of a light at that intersection and three full-access driveways.

The current Walmart is located at the crossroads of Front Beach Road, Middle Beach Road and South Thomas Drive. The current location has certainly become an epicenter, if you will, of tourism action.  When that Walmart was built, there was nothing around it.  Now, just to name a few items, there is a Ripley’s, Wonderworks, Walgreen’s, Backyard Burger, and tons of other places.

The existing location, according to public records, is 223,168 square foot.  The new proposed building would be approximately 156,000 square feet – roughly 70% of the size.

What are you thoughts on this?  Do you think this would boost the economical vitality of the west end / Pier Park area?  Do you think this could damage Target or make it stronger? Do you think this smaller store would have a produce section and finally bring some grocery aspect to a near Pier Park location?

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1 Lee June 28, 2011 at 2:31 pm

I honestly think that if a Supercenter is put in that location, it will destroy not only Target, but many small shops in the Pier Park area. It’s the reason why there still is not a single Wal-Mart in any of the 5 burrughs of NYC. The city was founded on small independent shops. Sure, Pier Park is no 5th Ave. Or anything, but the effect will only be amplified by Pier Parks current small scale.

Now I would be perfectly fine if a Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market was put in that area. We do need some 24-hr grocery options in the area. The best part about it is that in can also be part of a mini-plaza for a small handful of other retailers.


2 Leslie June 28, 2011 at 3:51 pm

I agree with Lee. I am an advocate of having as many small mom and pops as possible and we don’t want to jeopardize their businesses. One is more than enough! If we were to get any chain store at all please please make it a Trader Joe’s!


3 Jason Koertge June 28, 2011 at 5:11 pm

I don’t disagree here. I think it would be fine if it were a smaller “neighborhood market”, rather than a full-on store. Putting the new jobs aside, I think the vitality of the area would be better off with a smaller store.

With that said, I did note in the article that this new proposed store is 70% the size of the Super Center. Perhaps this IS to be a grocer? Fingers crossed as there is no real good grocer options in this immediate area.


4 Aaron Myers June 29, 2011 at 9:14 am

It would be great if it was a Kroger or Publix!


5 Cathy July 5, 2011 at 3:55 pm

The new Publix is right up the street from the proposed site. I can’t see them building a new one that close to the other.

6 Jan June 29, 2011 at 9:20 am

What about Carousel? And they have a wonderful wine collection!


7 Jason Koertge June 29, 2011 at 9:47 am

You know. . . I never go to the carousel. I should start trying that out for size. I’m sure I’d love it more than Win Dixie!

8 Cathy July 5, 2011 at 3:58 pm

What is the “Carousel” and where is it located? I’ve been to PCB many times & yet to have shopped there, what do they offer?
Please tell me because we are coming back in Sept. I’d love to go there.
Thanks, Cathy

9 TJ July 14, 2011 at 2:40 pm

Carousel has a great meat department as well. I won’t by meat anyplace else… including Walmart. Better prices and quality than any of the other places…

10 PCB Rob June 29, 2011 at 10:41 am

There is the Winn-Dixie just west of 79, that isn’t that far away. And like Jan mentioned below, the Carousel is a great place!


11 Kaplan July 23, 2011 at 10:55 am

Second the Trader Joe’s


12 Patty June 28, 2011 at 4:09 pm

I would prefer to not to have a Walmart close to Pier Park. I would rather see it on Back Beach Road further west.


13 Dan June 28, 2011 at 4:29 pm

Jobs, people. If a Walmart opens, it means quite a number of new jobs.


14 ginnifer June 28, 2011 at 5:40 pm

Put it west of hwy 79. Not near pier park.


15 Linda June 28, 2011 at 6:49 pm

Just be sure to keep the current one where it is presently at


16 Aaron Myers June 29, 2011 at 9:12 am

If Walmart was going to have another location, I would put it around the Pier Park area but I would think they would at least put it across the street.


17 Jan June 29, 2011 at 9:18 am

Please, no! There are already enough Wal Marts. I do not and will not patronize Wal Mart.


18 Paulette June 29, 2011 at 9:31 am

I feel Walmart should be left where it is. Everything is moving towards Pier Park and is leaving the East End of the beach without convenient shopping. Many people walk to the current location, especially the seniors who come down in the Winter. Why put two stores that are so similar in the same location; it could hurt Target.


19 captgebob June 29, 2011 at 9:42 am

It won’t bother me any as PCB looks like the tourist town that it is and if the tourists want it then we should have it because its the tourists dollars that keep PCB alive.


20 Jay June 29, 2011 at 9:59 am

WALMART?? … I my opinion, as a replacement facility, I would be strongly opposed. As an additional store, I would be somewhat more in-favor. Frankly, the current PCB Walmart appears dirty and run-down, actracting a some unsavory clientele.


21 Helen Kimbrough June 29, 2011 at 10:10 am

It should make prices more affordable on the West End and increase tourism to the west end and communities for miles around in that area.


22 PCB Rob June 29, 2011 at 10:38 am

I think it would hurt Target. I’m glad to hear they would be putting a light at Powell Adams and Back Beach. Actually, there needs to be a light there now, with so many people using that to avoid the light at the Pier Park entrance.


23 WENDY T June 29, 2011 at 10:53 am



24 Cathy June 29, 2011 at 11:27 am

You know we actually talked about this when we were on vacation in PCB last week….. how congested Front Beach Road was and how it was extremely BUSY it was. We had heard news that a new site was being looked at….. wonderful!
Ok, my views on the West End location as I see it would be fantastic. It will bring a boost (economically) to that side where so many people have to drive way down the beach to visit their “favorite” store. Please don’t knock it, if a poll were taken 9 out of 10 choose to shop under one roof for items than go to several stores.
My views on Target are rather mixed…… people go to target to shop for clothing etc. as they do not carry as much produce & food items as Wal-Mart, naturally when any new store opens it will hurt “some” businesses of others around it… that is expected. I do not see it as a major problem for target or the shops in Pier Park at all.
My concern & question is: WHY on earth would Wal-Mart build a new store 70% smaller than that of the one located on beach Front Road? That does not make good sense to me. Will the Beach Front Road store be closed? If so, I see a BIG problem here….. as it is crowded enough and at all hours day & night 7 days a week.
I hope they re-consider this and build a BIG store to accommodate all the people who come to PCB for vacation. Remember the new airport is flying loads in to shop!

As always….. in “my” own opinion,


25 cathy ketterer June 29, 2011 at 12:10 pm

I think a wal-mart would TRASH this area. There is already too much traffic building up on back beach road now and more lights would add to traffic delays. Pier Park is doing fine for the area. Don’t stop the growth and don’t hurt your locally owned small business owners by pushing them out. I recently bought a beach front condo on the west end of PCB. Don’t make me regret that move.


26 Jen June 29, 2011 at 2:56 pm

I don’t want a Walmart there, but maybe this wouldn’t have happened if Target hadn’t backed out of being a super – what a huge disappointment that was. Oh, and Fresh Fields was supposed to be there too….


27 Karen June 29, 2011 at 4:25 pm

I was in PCB about a month ago and Target is renovating and will soon have produce and more groceries like a Super Target!!! yay! I say no to Walmart!


28 Kathleen McAuliff June 30, 2011 at 8:46 am

The new Wal-Mart should be placed where there is a stop light already, in other words 1 block west.
In the wake of the fatal accident on Powell Adams Road yesterday adding a store will create a lot more traffic in an already very dangerous intersection.


29 Andrew June 30, 2011 at 12:51 pm

They aren’t closing the Walmart currently on the beach. This would be a new addition. This would bring work which in turn would mean more spending which in turn would bring economical growth. Its a great idea! 🙂


30 Jeremy July 1, 2011 at 9:12 am

I can’t think of a worse idea for this space. A Walmart this close to Pier Park would adversely affect the customer base of not only Target but all of the other smaller shops here. I believe Pier Park in general would lose some of it’s unique fresh and vacationy feel and become more like any other mall in America. The biggest issue I have with this plan though, is the added traffic congestion it would cause. There have been multiple serious accidents on this stretch of Back Beach in the last few years, and this week’s tragedy is not the only fatality over this period. Any one who lives in this area would have to agree that there is already too much traffic here at times, and adding a Walmart anywhere nearby would just overload an already too dangerous situation. I cannot really see how any traffic survey they conducted could in any way suggest this would be a good idea. Forget adding stop lights, the Powell Adams exit into Back Beach should be restricted to East bound traffic only in my humble opinion. I’m not saying I think a new Walmart in PCB is a bad idea, but I fully agree with the other comments here that a site somewhere further West, and not on top of Pier Park would be a much wiser move all round.


31 Deborah July 2, 2011 at 10:10 pm

West of hwy 79 would be better
Dollar General is always crowded and people do alot of shopping there
If not a wal-mart another discount store is needed on the west end of the beach
Or possibly going up 79 a little ways

Keep it away from Target and Pier Park
It will hurt there business let alone more congestion.
I have seen too many accidents already entering and on exit.


32 Bucky July 3, 2011 at 9:55 am

Is this a revenue move for the city? There is no question if I were Walmart, Pier Park is where you want to be, that’s the business hub not West of 79. Target can’t be happy with Walmart considering opening across the street with a super, However competition will benefit consumers.and we want quality stores with variety.I never been to Fresh Market but I have been to a whole foods and they are very popular.
As far as congestion is concerned it was bound to happen with development.around Pier Park. and how the issue will be addressed.


33 NO PIER PARK WALMART July 4, 2011 at 11:11 am

My wife and I purchased a home near park a four years back because of the location, and uniqueness of Pier Park. Its atmosphere, shops, and clientele will absolutely be changed for the worse should a Walmart be built there (not to mention the traffic).

I agree with those advocating for a smaller (and more upscale) fresh market store, but for those arguing that it will bring jobs, please remember that it’s not the QUANTITY of more low-paying/no benefits jobs that our area needs, but the QUALITY of jobs that should be focused on with an emphasis on bringing employers in who can continue raising the standard of living for those who call this area home. For any tourists who want locals to pander to them simply because they feel it would be a convenient place for a WalMart, there are plenty of other parts of the beach that can – and do – focus on doing that.

The citizens in this area can and should petition against any such outrageous development in Pier Park.


34 Craig July 20, 2011 at 1:34 pm

Really? When you have no job I doubt if the “Quality” of the job matters much…I own a home west of 79 and agree with several of you that a location further west on back beach would be better. The cost of groceries in PCB is very hig and a super Wally World may bring them down, however, Walmart does shop the competition and doesnt always lower the price much below the area average…it does not always mean lower prices. Bring it on! More jobs are better for the area already suffering from; oil panic, housing plummets, high unemployment, low tourism and dont forget June Grass (still here in July, bah).


35 John July 4, 2011 at 8:04 pm

I for one would not like it to much. The Target Store there is fine but placing a Walmart in that location would just add to what is already a bad traffic situation. It would take some serious renovations to highway 98 and Powell Adams Dr to accomodate the increase in an already overloaded trafic area. They would need not only a light at that particular intersection but one at the next intersection of Hill Rd, 98, and, Cambridge St. as well to cull the traffic enough to prevent a major cluster resulting in higher numbers of traffic accidents. We already have enough of htem already in that area.
I also agree with Lee on his comments concerning the economy of the situation. It would definately hurt what is actually a driving business for Pier Park… The Small Shop owners.


36 Karen July 5, 2011 at 9:51 am

Wow, a Trader Joe’s would be a perfect “fit” for the Pier Park area. Deli, fresh meat, groceries, wine…it is an adventure just to walk through the door. A Trader Joe’s does not “overwhelm”, but “complements” a “shopping neighborhood”! I think Leslie’s suggestion should be seriously considered. I “like”!!!!


37 Rawls July 6, 2011 at 6:52 am

I really hate it when Walmart abandons one location in favor of another newer location nearby. They always leave a desserted building that ends up becoming an eyesore. No one really benefits except Walmart. I say leave Walmart where it is and build a decent grocery store like Fresh Market or Whole Foods near Pier Park!!


38 Debbie July 8, 2011 at 3:29 pm

Whole Foods would be great, but I don’t think Bay County meets their demographic requirements.


39 Don July 6, 2011 at 11:18 pm

No to a Wal Mart at Pier Park. Too much traffic already. Plenty of stores at or close to Pier Park along PC Bch Pkwy. Leave it where it is. More local shops at center/west end likely to close if new one is opened. Put it on Hwy 79 about 1/2 mile north of PCB Pkwy.


40 Charles Eason, Jr. July 7, 2011 at 7:44 am

I like the idea of a 2nd location to possibly relieve some of the congestion from the beach location, but the traffic could be a bear!
By the way, now that the old store on 23rd St. has closed, has a new Walmart opened to take it’s place?


41 Debbie July 8, 2011 at 3:28 pm

The Walmart on 23rd closed when they opened a new Super Walmart in Lynn Haven. It was recently announced that a new Walmart will be opening in the old 23rd St location.


42 Jeanne July 11, 2011 at 2:14 am

Employees of the current Target store have said for years that the plants and home section would be closed, making way for an expanded grocery store in Target. The nursery is now closed, but month after month, they don’t seem to be proceeding with any plan for that space. Maybe a Wal-Mart in that adjacent space would be a good thing. The Publix has moved farther away from West Beach, and the ingress and egress at the Winn-Dixie has become very difficult. A Wal-Mart at this location would probably be very successful.


43 nick July 13, 2011 at 2:51 pm

Totally against Walmart in that area. Walmart is a low class store for that Pier Park area.


44 Stan Anderson July 14, 2011 at 10:08 am

I would much prefer a Fresh Market or Trader Joe’s! These businesses fit the area better!


45 shelley July 15, 2011 at 10:17 am

first of all i do not like going west towards pier park. front beach road is a nightmare and back beach road has gotten worse over the years. we come down from georgia every summer for vacation and we stay on the east end of panama city beach on thomas drive because of the traffic nightmare in that area. if we do go to that area it is during the day so you can get around and try to enjoy it but most of the time it is just not worth the aggravation. we do use the walmart on our end so closing it to build another on a different site just sounds wasteful. why not just remodel the existing one to bring it up to newer standards. if this walmart on the east end were to close we would not go to the west end area to shop we would just find another store. i also do not think it would be fair to the target on the west end even though i do not shop there. i do not think it would make much since to build a walmart that would be smaller than the one on the east end. what would be the point then. i also do not appreciate people saying that the shoppers that shop the walmart are lower class. the store itself needs updating and cleaning up. for some reason just because people are on vacation they think they can go in that store lookin however they want to which i myself find crazy. i know most of them would not go in a store in there home town lookin that way but to each his or her own. i myself do not go into any store lookin like shambels. i think once the road construction in that area is finished it will help with the conjestion. i like staying on that end of the beach and hope that walmart is not done away with. maybe on the west end a different store that doesnt exsist there at all and one that wouldnt interfere with other businesses would be the best resolution for all. i hope everyone can come to an agreement that would not burden anyone


46 jamnolfin July 17, 2011 at 12:54 am

Shelley, i live on the west end and own property on Thomas Drive. There is no way the traffic is worse on back beach road by Pier Park than Thomas Drive. Front beach road is a nightmare but its always been. I travel back beach all the time and i dont have a problem with the traffic except on big weekends. Build Walmart, build the concert stage, build a convention center, just build it. Live on the west end by laguna beach and Inlet beach. You can see the gulf, its not crowded and the prettiest part of this area. If you plan on staying or living in the middle of everything dont whine about it. Hell of a thing when somebody from Georgia complains about our traffic.


47 shelley July 26, 2011 at 8:41 am

first of all i dont know why you want to sound like you are attaching me. i am just stating my opinion just like everyone else that has left a message on here. i am glad that you live on the west end big whoopy doo. i love where i live too. sounds like you endure the traffice just like i do on big weekends so it is safe to say that you have the same experience that i do when i come to visit your town. i am glad to see that pcb is wanting to expand and build things that will bring revenue to the town. i am not whining as you put it, you dont even know me. we choose to stay on thomas drive because of the lessor conjestion. obviously you dont travel that way when it is conjested on busy weekends because if you did you would know that you can get around alot better on that end versus the pier park end. what is a hell of a thing is somone being snippy about someone leaving a comment like all of the other people. oh and by the way where i live in georgia is nothing the traffic on front beach road and atleast the traffic in atlanta does flow even during rush hour and pcb is not as big as atlanta. oh why in the world am i waisting my time trying to explain to someone that sounds very narrow minded anyway. i am glad everybody in pcb is not like you


48 Terry September 14, 2011 at 4:23 pm

I live in Sunnyside and its horrible the lack of….stores, dining and just night life in general. Pier Park is great but you can only spend so much on the “novielty stores”. I support all local but there has go to be some diversity in the way services are provided to us. If a business is struggling, it means the items being displayed need to be improved…HOWEVER NEEDED! I like the fact that you had no problem voicing. I agree. Thanks


49 Jason Koertge August 4, 2011 at 6:06 pm

I’m going to meet with the city in the morning to discuss this. Any questions you want me to ask?


50 Mona August 10, 2011 at 3:52 pm

There are enough Walmarts already. All they do is provide enough discounts to drive out local merchants. Once the local choices are closed, consumers are left with whatever Walmart chooses to offer, which is (a) much less variety and (b) “low prices” that really aren’t. For example, check out their bags of cleaned and deveined shrimp which states ‘X-X number per pound’, and then look at the weight: 14 ounces. Less than a pound! And then claim they are saving the consumer money. They cheat the consumer, and the consumer then has no choice but to accept it, because Walmart has driven the competition out of business. And don’t reimburse big box stores for site improvements they need to make anyway. That’s the cost of doing business, and they need to ante up. They hold local governments and taxpayers hostage by asking for special tax incentives and tax breaks for a specified period of time, then surprisingly, close the location down right about the time they have to start paying their fair share. It’s all on the backs of the taxpayers. Please – NO MORE WALMARTS!


51 Terry September 14, 2011 at 4:16 pm

Have to say that driving 18 miles to walmart pcb and 17 miles to the new walmart in walton county, IM ALL FOR, having a closer drive. I shop target as often as needed but there are ALOT of items target will not carry and “seasonal items” dont get me started. With the economy the way it is and Bay county at an all time high for job loss and unemployment…..Stop thinking about yourself and think about the pro’s of this. Its time the area got more for their buck and not robbing peter to pay paul.


52 JoAnn Ford October 13, 2011 at 5:02 pm

I think Target should have built a SUPER Target instead of the small store. There is a big demand for that in this area. Target would beat Walmart anyday with the groceries.


53 Donnie January 9, 2012 at 3:26 pm

I dont want a walmart anywhere near me!

places like walmart are killing america.

Give us something original, useful, and made in america please.


54 gary cole February 7, 2012 at 2:05 pm

A new Walmart would be great for growth in the area. I like to shop at both Target and Walmart. Competition is good and keeps prices down.


55 Rob June 5, 2012 at 12:37 pm

Please don’t let it be a Walmart, please don’t let it be a Walmat… We need a COSTCO!


56 Phil January 25, 2013 at 11:30 pm

It certainly does not make me happy that WalMart is encroaching on Pier Park. All the small shops are unique, I’ll give you that. The harsh reality is that WalMart has done more to save the shopper money AND put more small operations out of business than anyone in history. Manufacturers do not tell WalMart the price of their products but it is WalMart that makes the determination of the price of that manufacturers products. The one thing I CAN tell you is that I do not and will not shop at WalMart. I saw another post that mentioned Carousel Grocery Store. This is a Mom and Pop business that provides excellent quality at a fair and reasonable price. Carousel’s meat selection is far superior than anything WalMart offers so if I actually pay a few cents more for fresh superior quality, I’m good with that. By the way, I do not personally know the owner of the Carousel and I do drive by a Winn Dixie to get there. It’s the good, the bad, and the ugly in my opinion…. the good just happens to be the Carousel and the other small businesses in our area. Also, if anyone ever happens to go over the dreaded bridge into town, check out Tanya’s Garden if you want to step back in time when businesses were family friends!


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