New event venue planned for Calhoun

Savannah Vasquez
This rendering shows what the Veranda by the Bay venue will look like along Calhoun Avenue when completed.

Popular wedding spot The Bay House on Calhoun Avenue will soon have a sister venue with Veranda by the Bay and Cottages by the Bay.

Developer Mike Shoults of Southern Rentals & Real Estate said the project will offer lodging and a second venue for weddings and events in Destin.

“We are going to market this as a wedding experience with lodging for the families and the wedding party,” said Shoults. “We will now have a place to have the rehearsal dinner and then the beautiful bay-side venue for the main ceremony across the street.”

The 1.45-acre lot sits between 118 Calhoun Avenue and 109 Sibert Avenue and offers easy access to the existing venue The Bay House across the street at 127 Calhoun Avenue.

“We are going to connect The Cottages by the Bay with a sidewalk from Sibert to Calhoun so you can walk straight through to the Bay House,” said Shoults. “The lodging will serve for both the Veranda and The Bay House.”

Currently, Shoults has plans under review at the city to convert two existing buildings into a private event venue on Calhoun Avenue and to build five two-bedroom and two three-bedroom cottages on Sibert Avenue.

“We will have seven cottages total with a nice pool and green space in the middle,” said Shoults. “We are going for a very quaint, old fishing village look with the cottages and really cool features such as reclaimed wood on the ceiling and floor and picket fences surrounding each cottage.”

Shoults added that each cottage will have a full kitchen, a loft and even a washer and dryer and will sleep four to eight people depending on the cottage.

A life-time local of Destin, Shoults said he is very conscience of preserving the history and landscape of the area, and wants this development to reflect the natural beauty of Destin.

“We have worked very closely with the city development department on this to be able to save a lot of the trees on the site,” Shoults said, listing off a number of live oaks, magnolias and even a cypress on the property. “We’ve developed our parking lot and our cottages around the trees.”

The timeline for the project is still pending city approval, but Shoults said he hopes to begin construction by this fall.

“We have submitted our development application for both with the city and I hope to be under construction by Nov. 1st,” he said.

As for completion, Shoults said he is shooting for March 2017 for the Veranda venue and fall 2017 for the Cottages by the Bay.

“We’re very excited about what’s going on in west Destin, especially on the Calhoun corridor,” Shoults said.