FORT WALTON BEACH — City officials have approved the building permit for 312 luxury apartments that will be a major part of the Freedom Beacon Tech Park on the city’s north end.
Led by The Jay Odom Group LLC, of Destin, the overall $250 million development will stand on 52 acres at 1900 Lewis Turner Blvd., just west of the Okaloosa County Courthouse Annex Extension.
In addition to the apartments, the project will include restaurants and other businesses, offices, a 126-room Home2 Suites by Hilton hotel and conference center, and a 4-acre park. Work on the hotel will begin this year, according to information from The Jay Odom Group.
Background on project: FWB City Council adopts ordinances on chickens, a possible CEFCO and ‘Freedom Beacon Park’
Odom could not be reached for comment about the project. He has previously said the entire development will take more than 10 years to complete.
“We have reviewed and approved the building permit submittal for the apartment units, but are waiting on the development submittal for the other future phases of the project,” Fort Walton Beach Growth Management Director Chris Frassetti said in an email Thursday. “We do not have a current timeline from the developer for construction nor have we received any word on other future businesses yet.”
The 52-acre Air Force-owned site was annexed into the city in late 2017 from an unincorporated part of the county. Odom has a 50-year lease from the Air Force for the property.
He has said that he wants to develop his project in Fort Walton Beach because he would like to be part of the community and have his development receive city police and fire protection, city water and sewer and other services.
According to The Jay Odom Group website, the company “intends to install one of the State of Florida’s tallest flagpoles in the 4-acre park at Freedom Beacon as a beacon for our military, civilian base employees and the local community, and to inspire patriotism and pride while serving our community’s needs.”
The development will, of course, lead to more traffic on Lewis Turner Boulevard and other nearby roads.
According to a traffic study prepared for the city, it is anticipated that a total of 539 vehicles will enter and exit the built-out Freedom Beacon development during the afternoon “peak hour” between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m.
This article originally appeared on Northwest Florida Daily News: Freedom Beacon Tech Park brings apartments, restaurants to Fort Walton