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Names of new businesses at ’Crestview Commons’ still a secret

Tony Judnich
tjudnich@nwfdailynews.com
Northwest Florida Daily News

CRESTVIEW — The developer of the planned mixed-use Crestview Commons project might not reveal what stores or restaurants the overall property will contain until late summer, according to City Manager Tim Bolduc.

In late April, the City Council received an update on the project from Martin DelleBovi, executive vice president and director of real estate for The Benchmark Group. This Amherst, New York-based company is the developer of the estimated $14 million project.

DelleBovi told the council that the development will consist of about 73,000 square feet of inline retail space, plus three outparcels totaling about 16,000 square feet.

He said Benchmark has letters of intent from national sit-down chain restaurants for two of the outparcels, which could be joined by a store at the front of the property, while the rear of the site could feature several large and many small retail spaces.

The almost 22-acre project site is bounded by State Road 85 to the east, Hospital Drive and the closed Golden Asian Buffet restaurant to the north, Price-Gregory Way to the west and a swath of vacant land and Mirage Avenue and Chick-fil-A to the south.

Bolduc said officials from The Benchmark Group are not even letting him know what restaurants and stores might be on the way.

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“I know two of the spots are for sit-down chain restaurants,” he said. “Several restaurants are competing for the space. I don’t have any idea of the stores. They’re in contract negotiations, and they won’t give us details because that would ruin the lease. If they announce one or two, that would mess up their negotiating power.”

The Benchmark Group hopes to break ground on Crestview Commons in August. According to DelleBovi, the project will create 50 construction jobs that will last for 60 weeks, or about 15 months, as well as 250 permanent jobs for the people who work in the planned stores and restaurants.

Bolduc said he expects the city to receive and approve the company’s development order in July.

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City officials probably will find out from the company what businesses will be at the Commons “somewhere between the development order being issued and the completion of the buildings,” he said. “They’ll do some type of unveiling, I would imagine, sometime after August.”

Officials from The Benchmark Group could not immediately be reached for comment Monday about proposed businesses at the Commons.