Downtown Historic St Andrews
Historic St. Andrews is a community of Panama City, Florida, along the beautiful St. Andrews Bay. St. Andrews is both a Community Redevelopment Area (CRA) and a state-designated Waterfronts Florida Community. View all Events and Festivals in St. Andrews on the online calendar.
History of St. Andrews Bay
The first European settlement in the St. Andrews Bay area was along Beach Drive between Frankford Avenue and Lake Caroline. Just a few people resided year round in St. Andrews, earning a living making salt, fishing, and boarding vacationers who came to the area for the “healthy sea baths” and the fishing. By the mid 1800’s the summer population was between 1,200-1,500. In 1845, the town was referred to as “St. Andrews” by the post office. The geodetic survey of 1855, the first official survey, showed the town as “St. Andrews City” and the bay was called “St. Andrews Bay”.
In the beginning, lots approximately 25 ft x 82 ft were sold for $1.25, then later the price escalated to $8.00 for a lot in “St. Andrews by the Sea”. In 1908, St. Andrews incorporated for the first time. It continued to grow in the early 1900’s and became a popular port on the coast. Other towns had grown up in the area, one of those being Panama City, which annexed St. Andrews, and 3 other small towns in 1927. In the 1980’s, commerce in St. Andrews took a sharp dive as the business community left for the “new” territory in Panama City Beach.
Revitalization of St. Andrews
The Panama City Commission recognized the need to revitalize St. Andrews and the potential there. In 1989, St. Andrews was designated as a Community Redevelopment Area. In 1997, St. Andrews was designated to the inaugural Waterfronts Florida Program. That, and a variety of grants from the State of Florida, in the form of cash and technical assistance, have been used as the tools for revitalizing St. Andrews into a sustainable waterfront community. The redevelopment process has been an innovative, successful partnership between the city and the citizens. To view some of the revitalization projects please visit: www.historicstandrews.com/revitalization.
Additional Resources: www.pcgov.org/residents/panama-city-community-redevelopment-agency-cra/downtown-district.