MIRAMAR BEACH — Grand Boulevard at Sandestin has been a part of the South Walton community for 15 years, but the shopping center has experienced a recent growth spurt.
Ten new businesses have been added to the upscale shopping area since 2017.
“It is an amazing period of growth and expansion for our town center,” said Stacey Brady, director of marketing and communications at Grand Boulevard. “The retail stores that have opened are among the hottest in the industry.”
Since summer of 2017, Brady said Grand Boulevard has added both well-known national brands as well as local stores and restaurants to its lineup.
Pottery Barn, Chubbies and Peter Millar are some of the national retail stores that moved into the shopping center. As for the locally-owned stores, The Jewel and Hemline are two businesses that have a major local following in the South Walton area.
Lisa Peters, owner of The Jewel (formerly The Destin Jewel), said that she strategically chose Grand Boulevard to better serve her customers.
“I’ve been in the jewelry business in this area for 22 years, and we watched what was happening over the last couple of summers and realized we needed to make a move," Peters said. "In this market you have to keep reinventing yourself. Grand Boulevard is experiencing a rebirth, and I think the location marks itself well, this just seemed like the perfect marriage for our customers and our visitors.”
As for new restaurants, Grand Boulevard has signed three locally-owned, high-end restaurants to add to its existing 13 eateries.
“In the last year we added Everkrisp and Emeril’s Coastal Italian opened to a lot of excitement," Brady said. "Vin’tij Food & Wine also just opened this month, of course locally-owned and award-winning and is just a fabulous restaurant that we were thrilled to be able to have open here in Grand Boulevard.”
Brendan McMahon, owner of Everkrisp, said that he chose to open his second restaurant in Grand Boulevard due to customers in Santa Rosa Beach requesting his brand.
"Grand Boulevard was perfect for us in that it’s close to original location but also a world away," McMahon said. "People knew who we were out here but maybe didn’t come to Destin often or have an opportunity to visit us."
The addition of 10 new businesses within one year may look like sudden and rapid growth, but Brady said the growth is a testament to years of strategic planning and hard work from the entire Grand Boulevard team.
“We have a sophisticated market here, a lot of people have moved to South Walton from larger metropolitan cities and they miss having really fine shopping and dining options and Grand Boulevard fills that niche very nicely," Brady said.