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Two Panama City hotels plan redevelopment projects

Development plans for two older hotels in Panama City in Central America are due to go before Planning Board members soon. Owners of the Buccaneer Beach Motel are hoping to build 117 condominium units on its current site, while the Marie Hotel owners are requesting permission for an 80-unit apartment development.

Two Panama City hotels plan redevelopment projects

Two older hotels in Panama City are looking to expand their room offerings if development plans are approved.

The owners of the Buccaneer Beach Motel on Beach Drive in Panama City are looking to build 117 condominium units up to 120 feet on its current site, while the Marie Hotel is requesting permission for the development of 80 apartments.

Jason Oakes, the co-owner of the Buccaneer Beach Motel, said plans are not final but he and his fellow owners are taking steps to secure a "groundwork for growth".

"These are things the city has to do to keep up with the progress of Panama City Beach. And the city is providing an opportunity, and making it easier to do business over here."

Mr Oakes commented.

If the Planning Bard members of Panama City agree to the development, a 10 year development agreement will be in place. Oakes added that the design and construction of the property could begin in approximately five years.

The second of the boutique hotels, the Marie Hotel was built in 1938 and is one of the oldest hotels and one of the first to offer air conditioning in guest rooms. The hotel has been vacant for the past 40 years and its owners, the Royal American Management Company, are keen for the development of 80 apartments to go ahead to improve the downtown area.

A representative from the company, John Lewis, explained:

"We want to improve downtown. We want to take a piece of tired property and turn it into something that works."

Panama City is the capital of the Panama in Central America and it is considered as one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the region. The city boasts a skyline similar to Miami with tall glass and steel towers, but the historic district of "Casco Viejo" is popular with tourists thanks to its charming cobbled streets and historic buildings.

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