The Bluffs: 60 Industrial Site, 15,000 Job Plan For Cantonment

November 4, 2015

A new site in Cantonment could, in the long term, be home to as many as 60 new industrial and manufacturing companies and more than 15,000 jobs.

The public/private partnership is called “The Bluffs – Northwest Florida’s Industrial Campus”. The 6,000 acre master-planned development area includes about 1,700 acres of land that can be developed in an area east of Highway 29 bordered by the Escambia River to the east, Becks Lake Road near International Paper to the north, and the University of West Florida to the south. Although located along the Escambia River, most of the property to be developed is at a high elevation, about 100 feet above sea level, and not in a flood plain.

“This location is very unique in the state of Florida,” Scott Luth, CEO of Florida West said. “The corridor has utilities already there, from heavy electrical service, high capacity natural gas, CSX rail service, reclaimed water from ECUA and wastewater treatment.” Much of the area also has barge access south down the Escambia River.

The effort includes partners already located in the corridor – Ascend, ECUA, Gulf Power and the University of West Florida – along with the Pensacola‐Escambia County Development Commission,the Florida West Economic Alliance and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

“This is a long term plan, with the corridor having the ability to grow and expand,” Luth said. “It is definitely a long-term project and a long term strategy.”

The project site plan includes four primary development areas. The area known as “Live Oak Bluff” is likely to see the first development, he said. It is about 415 acres with 13 lots in an area that is currently accessible from Becks Lake Road. A Muscogee Road freight corridor is already in the works, expanding access from Becks Lake Road and Highway 29 to an upcoming I-10 exit in Beulah.

Engineering studies have been completed on the property, identifying potential sites and accounting for wetlands, stormwater runoff, parking and roads. A marketing plan has also been developed to begin reaching out to potential companies.

The plans also include making the campus an “environmental showcase” ensuring that the natural beauty of The Bluffs is preserved by building natural trails and encouraging green features for new tenants.

“We still have a lot of work to do and this is a long-term, 20‐year vision,” Luth said. “But we know that planned growth means quality growth and that the best communities map out their future years ahead of time. We see The Bluffs as an opportunity to create an environmental showcase while creating jobs for our children and grandchildren.”

Marketing of the The Bluffs is already underway; Luth said some sites have already been shown to prospective companies.

Pictured top and below: Aerial concept maps show The Bluffs, click to enlarge to read map labels. Pictured bottom inset: The Bluffs will be designed to be an environmental showcase. Pictured bottom: Conceptual drawing of Live Oak Bluff, the likely first area to be developed off Becks Lake Road. Images for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Comments

15 Responses to “The Bluffs: 60 Industrial Site, 15,000 Job Plan For Cantonment”

  1. MadTaxPayer on February 11th, 2016 2:39 pm

    So another industrial park when 2 that I am aware of exist and they are still not being utilized to the potential they have…Commissioners need to answer this or squash it or both

  2. Clifford Zack on November 5th, 2015 1:19 pm

    To make this happen the county will have to give any bussines a big TAX break, that will give them an incentive to build in this county!

  3. Jane on November 5th, 2015 2:31 am

    Escambia County is full of empty industrial parks. Look at the one on Hwy. 29 that they built and it only has one building in it. There are several almost empty ones in Pensacola. Maybe they need to bring businesses before they build anymore industrial parks.

  4. SHO-NUFF on November 4th, 2015 10:41 pm

    I can see the said property as a benefit for heavy industry.
    Industries that needs an abundant supply of cooling and process water from Escambia river to operate.
    For intake water, there is always a need to get rid of it. Sometimes clean, sometimes polluted…

  5. steve on November 4th, 2015 8:40 pm

    Its just a vision for a group of investors for the area. Most of the Industrial parks are struggling and really don’t see any new business coming to the area. How many Times do you hear hundreds of Jobs coming to the area and a new 500 homes subdivision in the works. Until this GREAT country Comes together things will stay the same.

  6. Wally on November 4th, 2015 2:55 pm

    What are you going to do with the highway 29 property north of Cantonment? I do not think I like this idea.

  7. mary on November 4th, 2015 10:56 am

    Yes, HELLO! There is an industrial park just north of Cantonment. It’s been sitting there empty for years, I believe it was one of the sites looked at to build the new jail and they didn’t even want it. People have griped about the paper mill until there’s only a third of the workforce there once was. Monsanto had it’s own problems and pulled out leaving Cantonment a slum area. NOW you want this pie-in-the-sky?

  8. dman on November 4th, 2015 9:25 am

    If this works, it could be great for our local economy. It’s a little close to where I live, so I’m not overly excited about the potential for more sprawl up in the pristine country that is Cantonment/Cottage Hill/Molino. However, it could drive up our property values. Either way, it would be awesome to have more heavy industry in our area. It was a sad day back in 2008 when all those folks got laid off from Solutia; so it would be nice to see our people working and making a good living again!

  9. john on November 4th, 2015 9:11 am

    They will have to do the required environmental studies, and they will find some kind of rare salamander and that will shut the whole project down!

  10. Kristy on November 4th, 2015 8:48 am

    Isn’t there an industrial site in 29 in cantonment that was never finished it has no buildings in it?

  11. southerner on November 4th, 2015 8:07 am

    Just because plans are made, pictures are drawn, and land is set aside, that does not mean that businesses will come. How many industrial parks sit largely empty?

  12. Jackie Johnson on November 4th, 2015 7:56 am

    I remember going to Girl Scout Camp in this area back in 1964-1967 it was beautiful then and left a lasting impression on me. This might help bring in stores and restaurants to the Cantonment area, while St. Regis was there. Muscogee Road use to be home to a Piggly Wiggly and other shopping areas. May God Bless this endeavor and locate good businesses for a great opportunity.

  13. horse withnoname on November 4th, 2015 7:52 am

    there is a huge industrial park on 29 headed to molino that is almost empty. cheap lots of industrial lots. Cantonment needs homes to accommodate urban sprawl.

  14. Pamela H on November 4th, 2015 6:54 am

    This is awesome. Pensacola needs more industrial jobs. Skilled trade jobs for Aviation AND Auto industry. New engineering of prototype clay and composite tooling jobs.
    A lot of companies have to outsource these kinds of jobs. Bring the companies and revenue to Pensacola.
    Praying this doesn’t take up to 20 years to complete.
    Get it done. !!!!

  15. Mike on November 4th, 2015 2:52 am

    Wow! Nowhere all that near to me, so this could be great!

    I guess this is not gonna happen over night, is so big. I just wonder if a bunch of families will be displaced by this. Also, is “Industrial Campus” another way of saying Industrial Park, because the land at Ellyson Field off Davis has not been fully utilized yet. Also, is the land on 98 (the old airstrip by the Navy Hospital owned by the county now? If so, that land would be a good alternate area.





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