The Landing renovations are one step closer to beginning in Fort Walton Beach

After years of delays, construction at The Landing is right around the corner.
Fort Walton Beach Landing renovation project

At last Tuesday’s Fort Walton Beach city council meeting, Council-member Travis Smith asked City Manager Michael Beedie for any update he might have on the status of the much-anticipated renovations set to happen at The Landing Park.

In October 2021, the Fort Walton Beach City Council unanimously voted to execute a Memorandum of Agreement with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the Landing improvements. 

According to Beedie, the Memorandum of Agreement has now been signed by all parties. Now, it is just a matter of drafting the permit, which Beedie says will take a matter of weeks.

  • “The archeologist for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has to put in some conditions because normally they require all of the archeological work to be done first, before they issue the permit,” said Beedie.

Beedie says that because this process has been taken so long, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will make an exception for city.

“We’re getting a task order from our archeologists to do the work during the project so we’ll have everything ready to go,” he added. “All of the bid packages are being updated and prepared for issuance once we’ve received the permit.”

Once the city has the permit, construction should start within 6 month, according to Beedie.

landing gazebo
City of Fort Walton Beach removing the old gazebo at The Landing (City of FWB)

Since August 2017, the city has been working with Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to permit the Landing Improvement Project. 

  • While it didn’t take as long to get the DEP permits, the permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been the major hold-up.
  • The USACOE permit has been held up in historical review by the State of Florida due to the presence of historical artifacts in the area of the proposed improvements.

In 2020, the city spent roughly $15,000 to hire an archeologists to drill some pilot holes throughout the park. This was done in order to submit a report to the Army Corps based on comments the city received from the Seminole Tribe, according Beedie. 

  • Due to the presence of historical artifacts in the area of the proposed improvements, the City will be required to employ an archaeologist during the Landing Improvements in the areas identified in the MOA.
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