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panama city mall

The Panama City Mall will close, according to the mall management. 

"While certain spaces in the Mall were damaged less than other portions, most of the Mall including the Common Areas, sustained significant storm and wind damage," officials wrote in a news release. "Above all, water damage throughout was catastrophic. Immediately after the storm, third-party experts, engineers, and consultants were retained to assist with stabilizing the Mall, assessing the integrity of structural and mechanical systems, and testing moisture infiltration."

In the weeks since, the vast majority of tenants have removed inventory and fixtures from their leased premises providing an opportunity for Mall Management to assess the full extent of damage.

“It is with a heavy heart we announce our decision to keep Panama City Mall closed for the foreseeable future. This decision is an extremely difficult one for us because we know it impacts the community and our dedicated on-site employees. Unfortunately, the order of magnitude to rebuild comes at too great a cost. It is economically unfeasible to rebuild as the cost far exceeds the repaired value of the mall” said Charlie Hendon, President of Hendon Properties. “We’ve been fortunate to serve customers here for the last 42 years and are humbled by the meaningful relationships fostered in that time.”

The closure of Panama City Mall does not include the adjacent Shoppes at Panama City or the Starbucks/Vitamin Shoppe Outparcel. New York’s Famous Pizza reopened on Black Friday and Moe’s Southwest Grill reopened this past Saturday, officials added. Construction is underway in Best Buy, America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses, Palm Beach Tan, Wayback Burger, and Lisa’s Nails.

Re-opening dates will be announced shortly.

Mall Ownership has entered into preliminary discussions with Planet Fitness and Bed Bath & Beyond to identify options to operate as outside tenants through the transition and to engage their support for a future redevelopment of the site.

“Our customers have expressed time and again the need for a relevant, experiential shopping destination in Panama City, east of the Hathaway Bridge.” said Charlie Hendon. “This community deserves all options be explored.”

Any redevelopment plan will also require Mall Ownership to reach agreements with Dillard’s, JCPenney, and Sears (Sertiage) who own their respective buildings and parcels. Dillard’s has expressed intentions to remain open and JCPenney plans to rebuild and reopen next year.

A timeline for building demolition is not yet determined.

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