Bullish on the Emerald Coast

December 28, 2011

NWF Daily News (September 19, 2010)

DESTIN — Although the economy is stuck in neutral and local real estate markets are sluggish, investor and entrepreneur Ryan Jumonville is not discouraged.

He says difficult times "separate the strong from the weak."

"I really think this region will come back before a lot of the others," said Jumonville, president and CEO of United Networks of America. "We have the infrastructure here in Destin to come back stronger."

Jumonville said the effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill "definitely didn't do anything to help" the area. He said the long-term effects of the spill will not truly be known for years.

But while market conditions look bleak, Jumonville has pushed forward to acquire several properties at a "discounted rate." In the past year, he has purchased the outdoor shopping mall City Market and the Beach Community Bank building in Destin. He also has bought Uptown Corners in Fort Walton Beach for more than $1.72 million.

The new owner said he has benefited from Uptown Corners' location near military bases and Uptown Station. He said the traffic through the area is tremendous.