(Read more on the multifamily market.)

PANAMA CITY BEACH, FL-Houston-based Creekstone Cos. has started construction on Island Reserve, a 299-unit townhome and condominium development on 20 acres at 8700 Front Beach Rd. The development is scheduled to open in spring 2008.

Units range from a 1,193-sf one-bedroom unit with a study to 3,728-sf four-bedroom units with 4.5 baths. Prices for the units start at $317,000. Among amenities are the Panhandle’s largest residential swimming pool; and a community center with an indoor basketball court and sports court, a fitness center and 100-foot theater screen.

Panama City is a growing area with a $330-million airport scheduled to open in 2009 or 2010. The city attracts 500,000 visitors each year. The city’s “Miracle Strip” is being transformed into a family-friendly environment with bike trails and parks, and other attractions.

“The market is rebounding here,” says Jeanne Carter, a broker and consultant with Creekstone Cos. “Condominium, retail and office projects are under construction, and absorption of new product is up. Prices here are still well below the national average, and with continuing low interest rates, it’s a good time to buy.”

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