At the September Committee of the Whole meeting, the Escambia County Commission voted to move forward with negotiations with Navy Federal Credit Union to sell 100 acres of the Outlying Field 8 (OLF-8) property. This development came as the commission discussed the future of the OLF-8 property and how the land should be developed once the county takes possession of it in the coming months. Kara Cardona, Navy Federal’s Vice President of Greater Pensacola Operations addressed the commission stating that Navy Federal had some plans on how they would use the 100 acres and would share them with the commission.
Commission Chairman Jeff Bergosh initially brought the item forward over his concerns over the county’s $30 million Triumph Gulf Coast proposal. Bergosh wanted to make sure that the property is developed in a way that keep the proposal viable under Triumph’s requirements. Part of Commissioner Bergosh’s concerns stemmed from the thought that any residential development of the property might jeopardize Triumph funding. Commissioner Grover Robinson pointed out that some residential development within the property might provide positive outcomes, including decreased traffic.
The commission ultimately voted to develop a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a professional firm to develop a Master Plan for the OLF-8 property. Bergosh stated that he wanted input from county staff, economic development professionals and the community in selecting this firm. The full commission will have to vote to approve the firm that will develop that Master Plan at a later meeting. The OLF-8 property is set to be transferred to the county in late 2018 or early 2019.