With a handful of potential commercial projects in the works along Calhoun Avenue, The Log asked its Facebook friends for their thoughts on the city's first named street potentially becoming the next "Restaurant Row." Here is some of the chatter.
Shanna Norris: Well the small apartment/homes at the beginning are an eye sore and I highly doubt nicer homes will be built in that area so I am all for putting restaurants in that area; more jobs available too. For those that normally ride bikes or walk to a job, this could be a very beneficial outcome.
Brandon Fields: That's ridiculous. Run out of room on Highway 98, so let;s start moving into the neighborhoods?
Amy's Attic: Gee can't we all use another Chili's or Applebee's or... please no.
Kasey McConnell: Shanna, my family and I live on Calhoun in one of those eyesore houses, with small children. I am all for expanding and business growth in the right areas, however in my opinion this road should be left alone. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen people doing 50-plus mph on this road zooming right by our house. This development is going to bring more of what this road doesn't need; loud nights, drunk drivers, tourists not paying attention, etc. Now, don't get me wrong, I am all for business development and attracting tourists because that is what keeps a roof over our heads, but I am NOT for it in residential areas.
Mindie Bardell: Why don't we focus on the restaurants that have been here for a while and help them with maintenance and such instead of commercializing every last thing in Destin... If it ain't broke why are people trying to fix it?
Steve Shooter: Not a good idea at all. You can't turn left on 98 from Calhoun, but that won't matter to tourists that think rules don't apply to them. It's going to create way too much traffic and congestion in an area that is not designed for it. So....the incidence of accidents will increase at 98 and Calhoun, which is a narrow point of entry into Destin. So many restaurants barely make it in the off-season and they are wanting to add more for 3-4 months of activity?
Emily Rose Robinson: I agree that traffic-wise, this is a dangerous idea. I can see a lot of congestion resulting from this.
Christina Clauson: This could work... maybe.
Cheryl Rhoads: There are a lot of families that have lived on that road forever. Turning it into another business area would really be unfair to them. I think Destin already has quite a few restaurants all fighting for that tourist dollar.
Mike Lewis Jml: I live on Calhoun, am in the restaurant industry and completely understand why it is hard not to want to build anything with the gorgeous view that side of the street provides. I think it is going to be a complete mess when it comes to Hwy. 98 traffic, turning onto Calhoun Avenue, accidents and area parking. By the way: I live in the eyesore apartments and love my home and my neighborhood. I can afford more, but my area is an ideal location for work, travel time and proximity to everything.