PANAMA CITY BEACH, FL - Watermark Residential, a wholly owned affiliate of Thompson Thrift and one of the nation's leading multifamily developers, announced the acquisition of 17 acres of land in Panama City Beach. There, the company will develop Watermark at Urban Blu, a Class A multifamily community with an expected completion date of April, 2022.
Located within the 32-acre Urban Blu Planned Unit Development, the site is conveniently nestled in-between the two main thoroughfares of Panama City Beach: Highway 98 (Back Beach Road) and Front Beach Road. As the only multifamily community with connections to both roads, Urban Blu will offer unmatched access to the area's major employers, such as Tyndall Air Force Base, as well as a direct shot to the famous beach and numerous retail shops, dining locations and other amenities.
"The Panama City Beach area has struggled to provide a supply of quality multifamily homes to keep up with the demand of a growing population," said Paul Thrift, president and CEO of Thompson Thrift and Watermark Residential. "With the U.S. government's $3.4 billion commitment to transform Tyndall Air Force Base into a state-of-the-art defense base, the need for housing is only going to grow. Watermark at Urban Blu offers a conveniently located solution to this shortage of supply and growing demand."
Watermark at Urban Blu will consist of 312 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartment homes averaging 958 square feet. Each unit will feature upgraded finishes including gourmet bar-kitchens with granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, walk-in closets and full-size washers and dryers. Community amenities will include a clubhouse, 24-hour fitness center with state-of-the-art equipment, a resort-quality swimming pool with cabana and pet-friendly "bark park" and doggie spa.
The Panama City MSA has experienced a population boom, more than double the U.S. average between 2010 and 2019. Additionally, Panama City Beach was ranked third on TripAdvisor's 2019 Best Beaches list, encouraging 17 million tourists to visit the area each year. Urban Blu will be only the third Class A community built in the market since 2010 and the closest of the three to the vast majority of Panama City Beach's workforce.
Josh Purvis, managing partner of Watermark Residential, added, "Watermark consistently seeks to develop superior multifamily communities in locations with high job and population growth and where occupancy rates are stable or expanding. The Panama City MSA fits these criteria perfectly. We look forward to beginning construction and bringing another remarkable Watermark community to Florida."
Watermark at Urban Blu will be the fourth Watermark community in Florida. Thrive by Watermark, located in Davenport, will welcome residents in early 2021. Axis One by Watermark, in Stuart, and Edge75 by Watermark in Naples are currently under construction and expected to be completed in 2021.
Since 2010 Watermark Residential has constructed more than 40 communities totaling over 11,000 multifamily apartment homes. The company has consistently focused on developments in areas experiencing rapid job growth, increased rental demand and barriers to new supply.