Downtown Fort Walton Beach Parking Lot near BOTE Boards.

City Council approves ‘much-needed’ repaving of Downtown Fort Walton Beach parking lot

Downtown Fort Walton Beach Parking Lot near BOTE Boards.

On January 24, 2022, the Fort Walton Beach City Council unanimously approved the repaving of the public parking lot located at 164 and 166 Miracle Strip Parkway Southeast. 

  • The parking lot, which sits in between BOTE Boards and the existing Run With It building, is half-owned by the City and half by BLN, LLC.
  • The portion of the parking lot owned by BLN, LLC. is leased to the City for the purpose of public parking for the downtown Fort Walton Beach area.

On August 7, 2018, BLN approached the City of Fort Walton Beach with the potential purchase of the City’s half of the parking lot. However, it wasn’t until February 26, 2019 that the City Council approved a new five-year lease with BLN, LLC to lease their portion of the parking lot to be used as public parking for Downtown Fort Walton Beach. 

As part of the lease, the City is required to perform improvements relating to paving and stormwater during the initial term of the lease. The first lease term expires on September 30, 2024.

The parking lot is in bad shape and in late April 2022, the City awarded an invitation to bid for parking lot improvements and was planning to move forward with the repairs. However, BLN was unsure at the time what they would do as far as developing the current Run With It building. They weren’t sure if it would be an interior remodel or a teardown of the entire building. 

According to representatives at the time, they did not want to repave the parking lot, only to have it torn up during construction. As a result, the City Council authorized the rejection of all bids and approved a lease amendment with BLN for an additional five years, based on the improvements.

In October 2022, representatives from BLN approached city staff about revisiting the parking lot improvements and expressed the desire to rebid the project and complete the improvements. On December 13, 2022, three companies submitted bid packages:

  • ECSC, LLC of Panama City, Florida – $327,840.81
  • Gulf Coast Utility Contractors, LLC of Panama City, Florida – $767,475
  • James David Site Prep & Underground, LLC of Baker, Florida – $508,876

On Tuesday night, the council awarded the bid to ECSC, LLC.

According to the city, funding for this project is included in the 2021-22 Community Redevelopment Area (CRA) Budget in the amount of $200,000. The remaining balance of $127,840.81 will come from the CRA Fund balance.

The company will have 90 days to complete the parking lot improvements once the contract has been finalized, with an expected completion date sometime in April or May.

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