'Starting from scratch' — New 40-lot subdivision planned at former Destin Racquet Club

Matt Algarin
The site of the former Destin Racquet Club is slated, if approved by city planners, to become Destin Oaks, a 40-lot subdivision.

An application for a new subdivision along Airport Road has been filed with city planners.

"The next step is for the planning staff and the technical review team to review the application," Community Development Director Ken Gallander told The Log.

The project, which is slated to be called Destin Oaks, would be a major subdivision and planned unit development located at 995 Airport Road at the site of the former Destin Racquet Club. The application, filed by Darrell Barnhill, calls for the subdivision to have 40 total lots that are 50-feet wide and 67.5-feet deep.

The 5.023-acre property is owned by Destin Racquet Club, LLC, according to information from the Okaloosa County Property Appraisers' website. The late Dr. Joe Carnley previously owned the parcel, which is currently home to Resolute Martial Arts.

In years past, city leaders had discussed the idea of purchasing or leasing the property, which is complete with six tennis courts, two racquetball courts, a building with offices and a parking lot. At one point, the Emerald Coast YMCA looked at the facility as well, before building in its current location along Commons Drive.

"It has been in our capital improvement plan for years to have tennis courts," Gallander said. "But it never panned out."

The entire property would be cleared as part of the project, Gallander told The Log.

"They are starting from scratch," he said.

John Cunningham, president of Destination Builders Inc., is part of the team behind the proposed Destin Oaks subdivision. He told The Log that they are really looking forward to offering a new "entry level" product to the market.

As for the old Destin Racquet Club property, Cunningham is no stranger.

"My mother actually managed the health club with (Dr. Joe) Carnley," he said. "I grew up playing tennis on those courts."

"We entertained buying the property in the past, but it never panned out," Cunningham added. "We are really excited."

While they wade through the application process, the team at Destination Builders is staying busy with all of the other planning elements that go into a project like this.

"We're working on house plans now," Cunningham said.