Hawkshaw Village (previously known as Hawkshaw Eastside) was a $20 million mixed-use development planned to occupy approximately four acres in the Hawkshaw area of downtown Pensacola. It was a joint venture between Hawkshaw Eastside, Inc., comprised of principals Jim Reeves (who developed the adjacent Aragon neighborhood), Jim Cronley, Bill Whitesell and Paul Snider, and Moulton Properties, led by brothers Bob and Jim Moulton. After nearly three years in development, the project was abandoned in late 2008.
In 2006 the Community Redevelopment Agency sold a 1.92-acre parcel of city-owned land near the Gulf Power building at 9th Avenue. They received five proposals for private developments and on August 31, 2006 selected the $20 million plan by Hawkshaw Eastside, Inc., which included 94 residential condominiums and 16,000 sq. ft. of commercial space in four three-story buildings. The members of the Pensacola City Council liked the plan for the guaranteed 25 percent of "workforce" housing included, and the land was sold to the developers for $1.8 million.
A competing plan submitted by Moulton Properties, called Technology Bay at Hawkshaw, included 12 Brownstone-style houses and 76,000 sq. ft. of commercial space. In the scoring procedure used by the City Council, the Moultons' $36.5 million project was a close second to Hawkshaw Eastside, even receiving more first-place votes. After the Hawkshaw Eastside project was selected, Councilman Jack Nobles attempted to overturn the decision. "I feel the one that got the most first-place votes should be the one the project is awarded to," he said. He was supported by John Fogg, J. D. Smith and P. C. Wu (who said he was "confused by the [scoring] process"), but the motion failed.
Soon after site work began, the Hawkshaw Eastside developers found that the soil foundation was softer than expected and would require additional support. The increased costs made the initial plan economically unfeasible, so the group approached the Moultons, who owned two additional acres north of the original property, and proposed a partnership combining elements of both plans.
The resulting plan, named Hawkshaw Village, would stretch across the combined four acres owned by both groups. The amount of commercial space in the new venture quadrupled to 110,000 sq. ft., but the number of residential units was scaled back from 94 to 30, due to a depressed housing market. However, all 30 units were intended to be priced affordably, up from 24 in the Hawkshaw Eastside proposal. The revised project and partnership was presented before the Pensacola City Council in July 2007 and approved 6-3 on September 24.
The new plan also called for a water retention pond to alleviate stormwater issues. The developers offered to spend about $1 million to build a landscaped pond (including a water feature similar to Tallahassee's Lake Ella) at Admiral Mason Park, which had previously been considered for such a purpose, in exchange for permission to use the city-owned land.
On December 31, 2008, it was revealed that the project had been canceled due to the recession economy, and that the developers would not close on their purchase of the city property. Reeves also laid blame at the Chamber of Commerce, which was helping develop a nearby technology park project, for failing to fund a portion of the retention pond. "The Moultons had put about $500,000 in wet retention there already, but everybody has to participate in that wet retention," he said.
- "Empty lot is hot property." Pensacola News Journal, June 19, 2006.
- "City to choose tract's future." Pensacola News Journal, August 31, 2006.
- "City opts for more condos." Pensacola News Journal, September 1, 2006.
- "Attempt to overturn downtown project fails." Pensacola News Journal, September 12, 2006.
- "For altered Hawkshaw Village plans, the details could be deal-killers." Pensacola News Journal, October 21, 2007.
- "Hawkshaw Village changes OK'd by development panel." Pensacola News Journal, October 24, 2007.
- "Hawkshaw East canceled." Pensacola News Journal, January 1, 2009.