Panama Grammar, an iconic property in downtown Panama City, Florida, within a designated Qualified Opportunity Zone is available for sale and redevelopment

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (March 18, 2019) – The Panama Grammar building in downtown Panama City is available for sale, restoration and redevelopment. The iconic red brick building is a Panama City landmark located within a designated Qualified Opportunity Zone.

Built in 1914, the building served as Bay County’s first modern school. In 1965 it was purchased by Wallace Memorial Presbyterian Church, now First Presbyterian Church of Panama City. The building sustained significant damage from Hurricane Michael in October 2018, prompting the church to consider proposals for sale and restoration.

“The historical significance of this property and its location within a designated Qualified Opportunity Zone make it a truly unique opportunity for investment,” said Kevin Wattenbarger, CCIM, market director and senior advisor with SVN SouthLand Commercial. “Redevelopment of the Panama Grammar property will serve as a catalyst for revitalization of the northern section of downtown just as the redevelopment of the Panama City Marina property is a catalyst on the southern end.”

With more than 37,000 residents, Panama City is the largest city between Pensacola and Tallahassee. The area continues to be a popular vacation destination with more than 17 million visitors in 2017, according Bay County Tourist Development Council Report 2017.

A traditional vacation destination for residents from Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Louisiana, Georgia, and throughout the Southeast, Panama City and Panama City Beach provide ample opportunity for investment and leisure.

“Hurricane Michael dealt a devastating blow to our region, but our community is resilient,” said Wattenbarger, who has been selected by church leaders to market and coordinate the sale of the property. “We are dedicated to rebuilding. Many residents have stayed and we are seeing more and more interest from investors looking for opportunities in our area.”

“Due to the damage caused by Hurricane Michael, our congregation has voted to prioritize rebuilding the sanctuary and Sunday school buildings located on the south side of 7th Street,” said Ron Brown, senior pastor. “It was important to us that we partner with a local commercial real estate advisor, someone who understands the community and importance and relevance of this historic property. Kevin and his SVN SouthLand Commercial team was the right choice.”

Serving first as Panama City High School, the building became Panama Grammar in 1926 after Bay County High School opened five blocks to the north, then the city’s northern border. Panama Grammar closed as a public school in 1965 and was purchased by the Presbyterian Church that same month. The historic schoolhouse served as the Presbyterian Educational Building until Hurricane Michael made landfall last year.

The property is in the heart of Panama City at 100 E. 7th Street. Church leadership will evaluate purchase and redevelopment proposals from interested purchasers until May 31, 2019. For more information, contact Wattenbarger at 850-913-9133 or visit

About SVN

SVN, a commercial real estate brokerage firm headquartered in Boston, is one of the industry’s most recognized and powerful brands based on the annual Lipsey Top Brand Survey and Commercial Property Executive Magazine. With more than 200 locations in 500 markets, SVN Commercial Real Estate Advisors provide sales, leasing and property management services to clients worldwide. The Florida team consists of more than 100 advisors serving locations across the state.


Kevin Wattenbarger, CCIM, Market Director and Senior Advisor, SVN SouthLand Commercial, 850-913-9133 / [email protected]

Ken Zeszutko, Z Corp. PR, 321-213-1818 / [email protected]