Photo of downtown Pensacola

Mayor secures $20 million in funding toward expansion of MRO Campus at Pensacola International Airport

Photo of ST Engineering Operations

The Pensacola City Council and Escambia County Commission have each committed $10 million toward the expansion of the Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) Campus at Pensacola International Airport.
On September 13, the Pensacola City Council unanimously approved $10 million from the Local Option Sales Tax to fund Project Titan, which includes the construction of airfield infrastructure associated with the proposed development of an MRO aviation campus. On September 6, Escambia County Commissioners voted to commit $10 million in financial support for the project over the next four years.  
ST Engineering, the campus’ main tenant, has already begun its initial operations at the airport’s newly constructed 173,000-square-foot MRO hangar which created 400 new high-paying jobs. ST Engineering plans to expand and bring an additional 1,300 jobs to the area. Once fully operational, the total number of jobs at the facility will exceed 1,700.

“This is one of the most important projects in Escambia County and the City of Pensacola,” Mayor Ashton Hayward told the council at Thursday night’s regular meeting. “I want to thank the city council and President [Gerald] Wingate for sponsoring this item along with me. I want to thank our partners. This has been a team effort.”
The estimated total cost for the proposed campus is $210 million.  Mayor Hayward has already made great strides in securing a majority of the funding. One of the biggest commitments was $56 million from the Triumph Gulf Coast board. The City of Pensacola has also applied for grants with the Florida Department of Transportation, Governor’s Job Growth Fund and Economic Development Administration.

Mayor’s vision for City connectivity comes to life with nod from council on Community Maritime Park deal

Community Maritime Park
The yellow outlines indicate the seven parcels part of the agreement between the City and Studer Properties,LLP.

For the next 18 months, Studer Properties, LLP will be developing a plan for the seven vacant parcels at Community Maritime Park.
Mayor Ashton Hayward asked the council at their regular meeting Thursday night to enter into an option agreement with the development group owned by Quint and Rishy Studer. The agreement allows Studer Properties, LLP to study the properties and find the best use. In return, the City will receive $271,659 in rent and agrees not to lease the seven parcels for 18-months as stated in the option agreement.

Photo of Mayor Hayward at the Council meeting

“This is another golden opportunity,” Mayor Hayward told the council. “This is a very big deal for the City. I think we need to look at the big picture, and the 30,000 foot view is the citizens of Pensacola voted on this park and voted on us to do what we’ve done in the last eight years.”

Since taking office in 2010, Mayor Hayward has pushed for activating the waterfront and connecting Pensacola’s east side to the west side.

“If you think about our city, it is 39-square-miles,” Mayor Hayward told the council. “We knew the east side of Pensacola was built out and we knew we needed to create that synergy and that energy in our downtown core. When I ran for office, we talked about that, creating that energy, creating that vibrancy in those neighborhoods.”
Studer Properties, LLP will be working on a plan to establish uses for the seven parcels that cater to walk-ability and are compatible with City infrastructure.
 The council unanimously approved to enter into the option agreement with Studer Properties, LLP. Together, with this partnership, the goal is to make Pensacola the best place to live, work and play.

City awarded additional vouchers to support housing veterans

Pensacola is known for having one of the largest military retiree populations in the United States.  Most of these veterans visited here while attending training schools and remember a friendly, warm place to live. Unfortunately, circumstances may find them unable to support themselves and their families, and they may resort to living in shelters, their cars, and in some cases in homeless camps.     

Come October, the Pensacola HUD- Veteran Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) program will grow by 14 vouchers to bring the total to 203.  Over the last decade, Pensacola Housing Division in partnership with the VA has worked with over 500 formerly homeless veterans.

The Pensacola program began in 2008 when the City Housing Division requested funding from U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in Washington, D.C. to house 35 homeless veterans and their families. The VA hired a licensed social services counselor and together with Housing staff, the VASH program was launched in our area. The requirements for homeless veterans to participate are minimal.  The VA assigns a caseworker to each qualifying family.  In coordination with the VA caseworker, the family is verified as homeless then referred to the Housing Office.  They meet with their VA caseworker until counseling is no longer needed.  The family pays a portion of their rent based on their income. 

Caseworkers assist with varying needs from locating furniture to crisis intervention.  These formerly homeless veterans are attending educational and vocational programs with plans of living independent, productive lives.  Some are elderly or disabled and are glad to once again be enjoying decent living environments. 

The VASH program is available to serve low-income homeless veterans.  If you know of any of these veterans in need, please contact Ms. Jodie Picciano-Swanson of the VA at 228-523-5018, or Marsha Bazinet of the City of Pensacola Housing Division at 850-858-0350 or email

KUDOS to our Sanitation Services employee!

A compliment from a citizen

Final public meeting scheduled for Port Vision Plan and Reinvestment Strategy

Photo of the Port of Pensacola

You asked for it and we made it happen!

The planning team will host one more community open house for the Port Vision Plan and Reinvestment Strategy.
The meeting is scheduled for Monday, September 24 from 3 to 8 p.m. at the Fricker Center Social Hall. This additional meeting will provide another opportunity to be involved in the effort.
The open house and review of poster exhibits will be available between 3 to 8 p.m. A formal presentation will be held from 5:30-7 p.m.
For more information visit or call 850-435-1699.

Pensacola Parks and Recreation launches new program for youth development

The City of Pensacola Parks and Recreation Department is proud to announce the launch of a new youth coaching and mentoring program at the downtown and west side resource centers called Alpha Elite Athletics and Academics.

This youth development program for ages 7 and up will prepare champion athletes and scholars through skills preparation and regular competition representing a variety of interests including basketball, spelling bees, and knowledge bowls as the program begins this fall and winter. Eventual program offerings may also include track and field, volleyball, and cheerleading based on interest level and participation. The program will be based at Fricker Resource Center, with activities and training also taking place at E.S. Cobb and Woodland Heights Resource Centers.
Photo of children playing basketball

Programs to be offered for the fall season include basketball boot camps at each center starting in October and a youth recreational basketball program scheduled to begin the Monday after Thanksgiving.

 The Alpha Elite program is looking for sponsors to help cover costs of participants’ jerseys, coaches’ shirts, refreshments, and other program giveaways.  They are also in need of volunteers for coaching and mentors.

For more information, please contact Michael Mims at the Fricker Resource Center at 850-436-5195 or email him at  

Another one! Blues on the Bay concert series continues this weekend

Photo of Hunter Amphitheater

The Mulligans rocked Hunter Amphitheater last Sunday night, now it is The Modern Eldorados’ turn.

Our Blues on the Bay concert series at Community Maritime Park continues September 23. 

The concert begins at 6:00 p.m.

Bring your lawn chairs and cooler and come and enjoy some music to wrap up the weekend.

The concert is presented by City of Pensacola Parks and Recreation Department, Blues Angel Music, Audi Pensacola, Soft Rock 94.1 and Jet 100.7.

Save the date! Public Safety Day is just around the corner

Community Public Safety Day information
Join police officers and firefighters for interactive activities, fun educational items and live demonstrations on Saturday, October 6 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Community Maritime Park.

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