As Destin continues to grow, the available dirt to build on is becoming harder to come by.

"There is not much commercial land available," said Harry Bell, a Realtor with John S. Carr & Co.

The Pensacola-based Carr & Co. is a full service real estate brokerage with more than 30 years of experience, and currently holds some prime real estate in Destin, situated along Commons Drive and U.S. Hwy. 98.

Outside of the Pensacola market, Bell told The Log his company has a total of seven properties in Destin. Of those, the parcel in front of Fresh Market was recently sold and will be the home of a Mattress Firm store. Two of the other parcels, which are situated in front of the Home Depot, are currently under contract with a national retailer that Bell couldn't disclose. There is also a 4-acre parcel near Target that is available.

In the Destin area, there are currently some large-scale commercial projects on the books. One such project is Venue Emerald Coast, an upscale apartment community that is taking shape next to the Alexan-Henderson Beach. It's also a possibility that a Dolly Parton-backed dinner theater is in the works for a grouping of land along Commons Drive.

Bell, who specializes in commercial real estate and land leasing, said he has seen quite a turnaround in the local commercial market.

"During the oil spill, the market paused for about 18-20 months," the Pensacola native said. "The market has rebounded."

Looking at the numbers, Bell told The Log that in the commercial market there is roughly a 31-month inventory, compared to a 42-month inventory for the same period of time last month. From January 2012 through December 2012, there were 42 commercial properties sold, according to the MLS report for area 14, which includes Destin and Miramar Beach.

"There is a lot of action right now," Bell said. "Things have definitely started to rebound."

For more information about John S. Carr & Co. visit or call 850-434-2244.