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PANAMA CITY’S RENAISSANCE – PERSPECTIVES – Kim Bottomy

Kim Bottomy, real estate investor and owner/lead engineer of Panama City-based KB Engineering, has helped transform the face of Historic St. Andrews, a community in Panama City that has seen much change and growth in recent years. Together with business partner Derwin White, the president of GAC Contractors, she realized her vision of restoring the buildings at the address 1010 Beck Avenue to their old glory.
Staying true to the details seen in historic photos, the renovations have helped transform this section of St. Andrews’ main thoroughfare. New businesses, such as The Taproom and the Salon on Beck, and long- established business, Eva and Quinn Boutique call this section of St. Andrews home. “I wanted to keep the history and we overlaid the brickwork to the same profile with the bell hut/tower and top spindles [as in the original building],” Kim Bottomy explains.

“I had always wanted to take the building on Beck and completely restore it because I knew it had potential to be revitalized.

“We had done extensive research on historical buildings in Thomasville, Georgia, Savannah, Georgia; Quincy, Florida; and others. This gave us inspiration for brick colors and patterns. I wanted the entire building block to look more cohesive in color and texture, so the vintage white brick worked well with the adjacent bank building. I grew up in South Georgia and have a passion for historical buildings.

“In revitalizing St. Andrews, I think there are economic benefits that small local businesses, whether retail, restaurants, or pubs, will have. Historic buildings are reminders of a city’s culture and growth throughout the years.

“The overall value of a historic building increases with renovation as long as you do not exceed a certain budget… it’s a balance. The ripple effect of the benefit on the entire streetscape will be an overall enhancement to the community, as long as there are willing participants and support from the city government, which is a huge factor.

“The current modern-day land development codes should give mitigation credits to the renovation of historic buildings. Once an area is owned by multiple owners, it’s difficult to recreate an entire streetscape.

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