On Tuesday, February 14, 2023, the Fort Walton Beach City Council awarded the Phase 1 construction for the Fort Walton Beach Landing Improvements to GLC Contracting, Inc. of Fort Walton Beach.
- Work on Phase 1 will consist of the waterside construction that will include the seawall, boardwalk, dock and pocket beach.
- All land side improvements, including entry canopy and band shell, will be Phase 2.
On May 26, 2022, the City received the highly-anticipated permit from the Army Corps of Engineers for the Landing to construct the improvements. However, after issuing an Invitation to Bid (ITB) in September 2022, no bids were received.
- The City decided to split the proposed improvements into two phases in order to encourage more participation. On October 24, 2022, the Phase 1 improvements were put out to bid.
On December 8, 2022, GLC Contracting, Inc. submitted a bid in the amount of $2,479,665, which was substantially more than the city was expecting when this started years back. The increase in cost was mainly due to the excessive wait time for permitting from the Army Corps of Engineers that saw material costs increase over the last 2 years.
Funding for the Landing Improvements will come from multiple sources, including:
- CRA funding for engineering design and permitting and a portion of the construction.
- NRDA grant funding for the boardwalk, seawall and pocket beach improvements ($1,600,000).
- RESTORE Act funding for the covered performance stage and other infrastructure improvements ($1,100,000).
- TDC funding for a portion of the covered performance stage ($500,000).
- Half-Cent surtax revenues for a portion of the construction.
Councilman Nic Allegretto made the motion to award the bid to GLC with a second by Councilman Travis Smith. It was a unanimous decision by the council.
- “There are about 20,000 other people that are very excited that this is about to happen,” said Allegretto. “It’s been a very long time and a lot of people that are outside of this room have done a lot of good work to get us to where we are today.”
Smith echoed Allegretto’s sentiments but also stressed the importance of getting the renovations started and seeing the project completed.
“When you see that number come back, it’s kind of an eye-popping number,” said Smith in regards to the bid amount. “The fact of the matter is, we’ve done everything up to this point that we could do to get it done and now’s the time to just push it through.”
- “This is the reason why I’m a tightwad,” he added. “We save money in other places so when things like this come up, we have the extra money to spend in places like this. I’m just excited to get this thing rolling and I’m sure the other 20,000 people in this city are as well.”
As far as a timeline goes, the city will issue a notice to proceed with construction in April and will be working with the contractor to minimize impacts to events that are scheduled to take place at The Landing throughout the year, such as Bowlegs, concerts and farmers markets.
- Phases 2 & 3 will be staggered to also reduce impacts to the usage of the park and to also allow for 1 section to be complete before starting another.
- The project is estimated to cost $6 million overall, with an estimated 2024 completion.