PANAMA CITY BEACH — Its three-masted hulk still stands on the shores of Grand Lagoon, a proud but burned-out pirate galley that looks washed ashore. Thanks to the News Herald for this article!
But preliminary plans are under development to construct a 10-story hotel at the site of the old Treasure Ship that would include a restaurant and retail area, county officials said Tuesday.
The Treasure Ship on Thomas Drive was built to resemble The Golden Hind, a galleon sailed by Sir Francis Drake, but at roughly twice the size. The iconic restaurant metaphorically set sail in 1978 before burning and closing in April 2010, throwing more than 100 employees out of work.
“They want to rebuild,” Martin Jacobson, head of the Bay County planning and zoning department, said Tuesday. “But they don’t want to rebuild the same structure.” Jacobson said the county is in preliminary discussions about site planning for the structure that would eventually replace The Treasure Ship, which burned April 28, 2010. State fire investigators concluded the blaze began as an electrical fire that damaged portions of the wooden exterior but also gutted much of the interior currently not visible. The damage was estimated at about $1 million.
The property has been in the possession of the Lisa Nomberg Todd family for more than 30 years. Several issues still need to be worked out with the site planning, however, Jacobson said Tuesday, adding that “we are working through the details.” One problem being discussed is the amount of parking that would be available on the property for any future structure. Another issue would be plans for stormwater treatment, Jacobson said. “The entire site is almost entirely paved,” he said.
In addition, the county and the site’s owner are engaged in a dispute over two issues that need to be resolved, county spokeswoman Valerie Lovett said. Todd was unavailable for comment Tuesday. One issue involves a sliver of land on the southeast of the new Grand Lagoon Bridge project currently under construction, Lovett said. The bridge was not built on it, but the small plot of land was needed by the county for right of way. Both the county and The Treasure Ship claim ownership. Another issue concerns claims by Treasure Ship owners that the county “inappropriately used,” or trespassed, on their property during bridge construction. “There are two pieces to the dispute,” Lovett said. “Basically, we are in mediation.”
“We will miss the Treasure Ship. Our family enjoyed dining there” said Jerry Eyler with Best Panama City Beach Condo Rentals at Celadon Beach Resort www.bestpanamacitybeachcondo.com