A Decade of Construction

A Decade of ConstructionThe beaches are as beautiful as ever, but the recent development has forever changed the landscape and image of the Emerald Coast
The Sacred Heart Health System receives approval to proceed with building a new health care facility in the Miramar Beach business corridor. The Raven Golf Club opens at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort and is named Best New Course by Golf Digest.

The St. Joe Company donates the land to build what will become the Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport. The company owns 75,000 acres on the west side of West Bay designated for mixed-use development, 4,000 of which is set aside for the new airport. The remaining 71,000 acres are being developed and include an 85,000-square-foot industrial park to be built adjacent to the airport.

The first phase of The Village of Baytowne Wharf opens in Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. The number of stores leased at the time of the opening makes it the largest commercial success to date for Intrawest, Sandestin’s parent company at the time.

Destin Commons opens with great fanfare, employing more than 2,000 people by year’s end. The first phase of Grand Boulevard at Sandestin opens, anchored by a Publix supermarket. The Grand Sandestin opens.

Hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne all strike Florida, causing approximately $42 billion in damage.

Turnberry Associates and Legendary Inc. announce plans for a Phase II expansion of Destin Commons, adding retail space, office space and a 150-suite, name-brand condominium hotel.

Courtyard by Marriott Sandestin and Residence Inn by Marriott Sandestin open at Grand Boulevard.

The 18-story Emerald Grande, a resort condominium operated by Legendary Inc., opens at the foot of the Destin Bridge after a five-month delay caused by Hurricane Katrina. The Village of Baytowne Wharf celebrates its five-year anniversary.

HarborWalk Village, a mixed-use center of shops, eateries and retail space, opens on the scenic Destin Harbor. Okaloosa-Walton Community College in Niceville becomes Northwest Florida State College.

Southwest Airlines announces it will fly into Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport, offering low-cost flights to four national destinations.

The new airport opens. The St. Joe Company announces it will move its headquarters to Bay County. Local developer Tom Becnel purchases Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort.