New Things in Crestview Florida | What's New in the Area?

Dated: November 23 2021

Views: 20

Big Things Are Happening in Crestview!

Hey Everybody, it’s Andi G with the Emerald Group, coming to you from beautiful Crestview Florida! If you’re new here and want to learn more about Crestview, or the Emerald Coast in general, just click that subscribe button, and don’t forget to ring my bell so you never miss a video!

Today, we’re going to talk about some exciting new developments in Crestview and what that might mean for the future of our city. 

But first, for any of my returning viewers, look! I have a place to shoot again! We’re currently in my home office, so enjoy my tchotchkes. Anyway, let’s get to the important stuff!

1. EXPANDING ROADS

The first new thing is traffic relief! And this is happening in several ways. As of now, in November of 2021, work has begun on widening Hwy 85 from 4 lanes to 6 coming into town. This is going to be huge. The intersection of Hwy 85, Antioch Rd, and Live Oak Church Rd is a giant bottleneck that backs traffic up for miles and miles. Increasing the traffic capacity at that chokepoint is going to be huge for relieving the gridlock that currently starts around 3 o’clock and doesn’t fully clear until around 6 o’clock. 

Part two of traffic relief is the widening of PJ Adams Pkwy. PJ leads out to Antioch, Hwy 90, and therefore out to Holt and Baker. Doubling the size of PJ is making that drive safer and easier. It’s another way to release pressure in the middle of town. If you live in Northwest Crestview, taking 85 up to the center of town to get to Hwy 90 is not fun, but neither was going down PJ. PJ was also considered by a lot of people to be less safe because it was only two lanes and undivided. Once PJ Adams is expanded, it will be just as big and feel just as safe as 85 through town. 

The last is a proposed new exit off I-10 to the west of town. If it does happen, the exit will connect the interstate to Hwy 4 and include a cutoff that will wrap around the city just north of the current I-10 exit. This is important for a few reasons. First is that if someone works in Pensacola and lives on the west side of Crestview—whether that’s Addison Place Apartments or Foxwood Estates—they have a straight line from the interstate home. The second is that the proposed cutoff would connect Hwy 4 to the middle of the largest shopping area in town, but we’ll talk more about that a little later.

2. DUNKIN’ BAKERY AND DISTRIBUTION CENTER

Our second piece of big news is Dunkin’ is planning to construct a new Commercial Bakery and Distribution Center just outside of town! The proposed plant will be a 24, 500 square foot building on 4 acres. The project site is out at the Okaloosa County Industrial Air Park. That puts it technically out of town, but the facility is easily accessed via Airport Rd off of Hwy 85. This means jobs, of course, which is always a good thing! The location also means that one doesn’t need to live in south Crestview to have easy access to the job. Since South Crestview is generally more in demand than North, if you’re looking to sell north of 90, this will probably make it easier for you. And if you’re looking to buy, you’re more likely to get a better price on the Northside or even just outside of town!

Now, this is only just in the planning stages, so it’s going to be a minute before the plant is done. However, if you currently own in North Crestview or you’re looking to buy, keep in mind that there’s probably going to be more development around Airport Rd. It might be a good idea to talk to an expert about how this will affect you and your plans….

Moving on!

3. CRESTVIEW COMMONS

Okay, this is the real biggie: Crestview Commons. This retail center is going to be a 22-acre shopping center with 73,000 square feet of retail space. The current plan, according to the Benchmark Group’s website [https://www.benchmarkgrp.com/commercial/crestview-florida-crestview-commons/], is to have three out parcels and five connected storefronts. There’s also a section on the drawing just marked “Retail H” that makes ME think they may be considering a Phase 2 if this first phase goes well.

Why is this such big news? For one, it means hopefully some more variety for shopping here in Crestview. There’s no info yet on what kind of shops are going in. I’m hoping for an Aldi. And a shoe store. If you’re in Crestview or planning to be, what’s your big ask for the new shopping center?

Another big reason is the jobs it will create! Florida is experiencing a ton of growth right now, so many people want to live here, and I think that’s fantastic! I’d love to see our area continue to expand. Crestview had a bad reputation for a long time, but I love this city and I want to see it expand, grow, and thrive.

Last is related to my previous point, which is supporting the local economy more broadly. Right now, we’re just kind of a pit stop as people head south. Depending on the kind of stores that come in, additional shopping options for all the tourists that are currently driving through town instead of stopping to eat, drink, and shop. There’s already a new hotel basically across the street from where Crestview Commons is being built in addition to the 7 or 8 on Hwy 85. We have the potential to draw a lot more business from tourists if there are things for them to do here in Crestview before heading south. Instead of waiting at an overcrowded restaurant in Fort Walton Beach or Destin, come on back to Crestview and enjoy one of our restaurants! Whether it’s an established one like Hub City BBQ in the heart of town or a brand new one going in at Crestview Commons, it’s good for us as a community.

And of course, one of the downsides to all this is growth is the traffic, so remember how I said that cutoff from Hwy 4 into town was going to be important later? Well, it’s later. Adding exit west of town and giving a direct route into Crestview that feeds straight to Crestview Commons means at least some of that potential gridlock caused by more shopping and dining options is already accounted for! Good job to the planners!

What does all this mean for Crestview in general? I think we’re going to grow extremely quickly. There’s still a lot of space out here to build. There’s far less south of us. Fort Walton Beach and Destin especially are jam-packed. They’re pretty much out of room to put new housing up, so that’s forcing prices up. Crestview’s prices are higher, but you can still find a house under $200,000 here. It may not be fully updated, but you could move into it! 

I believe all this growth is going to be good for Crestview. But it is going to change us a little. We’re becoming a little less small-town vibe as we expand. So, maybe we won’t be rolling up the sidewalks at 9 o’clock every night and all day Sunday forever. That could be both good and bad. If you like a little more excitement, a little more nightlife, then that’s great. But if you’re hoping to stay small town, you might be reasonably concerned that these changes are going to make us less Crestview and more Fort Walton Beach. Most of us moved here because we DIDN’T want to live in FWB or Destin. But fear not! The areas surrounding Crestview, Holt, Baker, Mossy Head, etc. are still firmly country. So, you don’t have to go very far to keep the small-town charm.

Thanks for sticking with it to the end of the video. I hope you enjoyed it, and if you did please don’t forget to do all those things every YouTuber has asked you a thousand times before: like, subscribe, turn on notifications. If you’re looking for more info, I’d love to hear from you! Drop me a comment, a direct message, text, call, email, whatever works for you. I’d love the chance to help you make my hometown your hometown.

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