BEULAH, Fla. (WKRG) — Escambia County leaders are starting negotiations to sell property on West Nine Mile Road to a major developer.

Right now, it’s a wide open field in Beulah but years from now, it will look much different.

“We will build a tremendous amount of retail there, restaurants, amenities,” Commissioner Jeff Bergosh said.

Escambia County owns the land known as OLF-8 next to Navy Federal. The county is moving forward in negotiations to sell more than 500 acres to Stirling Properties and D.R. Horton for at least $42 million.

“We’ve got to go into negotiations and so any good negotiation means that you know I get something, you get something, nobody gets everything that they want,” Commission Chairman Lumon May said.

The only other bid on the table was from Breland Companies but they didn’t show up at Thursday’s commission meeting. Bergosh said that was a lower offer with too much residential space.

“It was a non-starter,” Bergosh said. “It would’ve been dead on arrival. Maybe that’s why they didn’t show up.”

The plan moving forward will have some apartments but it’s mostly retail, restaurants, industrial and medical office space. There may be some space for a school too. Commissioners say they’re focused on job creation.

“You can always find public land to build a school and residential,” May said. “There’s no more industrial or commercial property close to Nine Mile Road. It’s at the end. We have built out. So we have to be very conscious that this is the last opportunity for light industry in Escambia County.”

Commissioners are scheduling a workshop to start negotiations but a date hasn’t been set.