Will Disney and Universal be coming here afterall?

by December 8, 2007 • 13 comments

This past week I was sent a document presentation of our area and the future planned growth that we will see in the coming years. It was put together by Accrue Planning. I couldn’t find anything about them on the web, but I decided to post it anyway. There is some good information, but there is also other information that I’m not sure how accurate it is. When I say I couldn’t find any information on the web, I should have been more specific in that I couldn’t find a website.

The document cites that there are no inventory, franchise, or state-level property taxes in our area and that our area remains to be attractive for businesses. Discussed in the 78,000 acre, master-planned West Bay Sector Plan by St. Joe and the new airport. Also discussed is the possibility of FedEx and UPS relocating their international operations centers here. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think that has been confirmed.

The Gulf Coast Parkway will stretch from 231 to 98, just west of Mexico Beach and will improve hurricane evacuation, open up more development opportunities and reduce traffic through Tyndall Air Force Base. The Gulf Coast Parkway is also expected to open up travel corridors from the East Bay area to the new Airport.

Currently, Highway 79 is undergoing a transformation to a four-lane highway up to I-10 and there are plans to widen highway 77 up to I-10 as well. Actually, this could have already happened or begun already. My travels do not take me up that road.

Also in the document in information about Disney and Universal Studios coming to our area. I know nothing of the validity of this information, but they are claiming that 55,000 acres known as “Moody Pastures” is under contract and that Disney has spent money on the site. Also discussed is the possibility of Universal coming to the East Bay area.

Once gain, I feel it necessary to note that I was unable to find information on the publisher of this document and I do not endorse the validity of the information it contains.

Here is the link to the document: Northwest Florida Future Development

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1 MJ December 10, 2007 at 9:25 pm

Wow!
The I-65 corridor idea is very interesting. That would be huge news for the area.
Do you have any idea just where this “Moody Pastures” is? It wouldn’t surprise me much–didn’t Walt Disney secretly buy up all that land in Orlando?

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2 Jason December 10, 2007 at 11:07 pm

I had heard that when Disney made the purchases in Orlando it was done largely in secret. I would assume that if they were indeed making a move in this area, they would not make any public announcement (as neither would any other large company when making a move like this) until everything was finalized and set in stone.

“Moody’s Pastures” is just north of 20 in Washington County. There was just an article in the News Herald this morning about how it is owned by the Knight Newspaper family and while exploring development ideas, there are no plans involving Disney. Once again, I’ve seen no substantiated facts about the Disney rumor, but the hype is still fun.

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3 Tom December 11, 2007 at 9:18 am

While interesting, it is not completely factual. Months ago, the major carriers(UPS, FEDEX, AIRBORNE
EXPRESS, etc) announced that they are going to jointly build a new facility(including airfield) in
the Ocala-Orlando area. This complex will serve as a
national and international hub.

I would sugguest that whatever this letter says, should be put in the same category as all the other
false hype which I have seen over the last seven years from both the public and private sectors trying to sell the citizens on things which are not
only unrealistic, but just an outright lie.

If you don’t get it straight from the horses mouth,
don’t hang up hat on what comes from the horses other end.

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4 Charles December 11, 2007 at 6:44 pm

Hi Jason,

Please do the area a favor and remove that link. First off, if this was from any serious “RE Planning Groups” you wouldn’t get the inconsistent font usage. Additionally, you wouldn’t get the poor quality photo’s, many look pulled off the web and again inconsistent with a real commercial company. This is simply a another attempt to continue the rumors to help “sell/invest” in this depressed area.

The only people that are in the know would be St Joe and Knight Family, period. And the Knight Group have gone PUBLIC and CLEARLY stating that Disney does NOT have any interest in Moody Point. Additionally, Disney and Universal have both gone public and stated NO interest is expressed in Bay County at this time… but more interest in Arizona. You can read all about it at Disney’s website Investors website.

Then you back all of this up with the information Tom has provided and there is more reason to remove the link then provide more fuel to the fire… I suggest putting a link to the County Commissioners as they control our fake more then this rumor!

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5 MaryBeth Noone-Kenis December 11, 2007 at 6:59 pm

I found this info through GOOGLE:

Accrue Planning & Land Use Services
2814 West 15th Street Suite 2
Panama City, FL, 32401
(850) 747 -8912 phone

MaryBeth
In 4 the LongHaul

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6 Mark Kleimeyer December 11, 2007 at 10:43 pm

Might not be Disney, but somthing bnig is comming. This is 86 square miles of land. Private meetings and closed mouth. Don’t see reaso to hide housing development. Finding artifacts at Moody’s Pasture site, but no Disney center

According to Washington County Commissioners plans are afoot for approximately 55,000 acres, most of which lie in Washington County.

Commissioners met individually with representatives of the Knight newspaper family recently to hear plans for possible development of the large tract of land.

According to Washington County Property Appraiser’s office most of the land in question lies in Washington County along Highway 79 on the west and State Road 20 on the south and includes Big Blue Lake, Tillers Mill, Long Lake and Warmouth Lake.

The Knight Family is represented by Hopping Green and Sams of Tallahassee (attorney); Wilson Consulting, LLC or Tallahassee; and Engelhardt, Hammer & Associates (land planning).

While officials are not willing to say what is planned for the site at the present time, they have said it will not be a Disney complex and will be some time in coming.

They are being very closed mouth on any upcoming projects, but have let it be known they have found some artifacts at the location, including an old grist mill and the old CCC camp

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7 John Shook February 19, 2008 at 12:43 pm

I have to say that the whole Disney buying Moody Pasture is tough to swallow. However, for those that don’t know where it is…..it is a piece of land west of Hwy 77 just south of Hwy 388 and North of County Hwy 2300. It would be 5 minutes from the new airport as the crow flies. Still even if it is true, it is 4 years before ground breaking would happen.

The story about Fed/Ex & UPS originates from a short speech that I gave. Regretfully, it is seriously mutilated in its factual strings now. The proposed airport has an enormous industrial park planned next to it. This industrial park being close to the airport would allow air shipping companies to locate their local wharehouses and distribution centers next to the airport instead of miles from the airport which is now the current set up. Since these companies currently drive through rush hour traffic waiting for several red lights to get their freight, they would be saving hundreds of labor hours by moving their warehouses to the new industrial park. That is a far cry from saying Fred Smith is going to set up the Panama City Intergalactic space port as a new distribution center for all of Fed/Ex. However, some people feel a need to spread rumors to falsify the values of their properties. Greed and get rich quick always leave someone with no chair to sit in when the music stops. Integrity is a far better way to run your business.

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8 Lynda March 5, 2008 at 11:45 am

There is absolutely no validation to the claims that Disney has a contract or has purchased Moody’s pasture. The speculation cited in the publication posted on this website is rumor and is not fact that we can confirm.

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9 Jason March 5, 2008 at 12:50 pm

exactly.

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10 Scott March 18, 2008 at 6:26 pm

Well I’m sure as the airport develops and is opened, there will obviously be more businesses moving to the area. That’s obvious. I also am sure that when companies get ready to let everyone know they are moving here, they will let us know. So there’s no need to guess who’s coming here. Just wait and fnd out!

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11 Tom April 17, 2008 at 4:08 pm

Having been away for some time dealing with a death in my family, I take exception with the comments of John Shook. Before I made the post, I checks with people from inside the major frieght carriers as well as people who live, work and run the area around Orlando-Ocala. When they all tell me basically the same thing, guest who I put my money on?

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