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Byline: Jeff Ayres
Jan. 29--The massive structures stand along the water like sentries guarding the shoreline. They have become a new part of the skyline of downtown Fort Walton Beach and Okaloosa Island and represent their developmental and, perhaps, economic future. They are the construction cranes that are erecting a number of high-rise and smaller condominium complexes and other developments along Santa Rosa Sound in Fort Walton Beach and Choctawhatchee Bay's south shore on the island. Many of the new buildings are replacing longtime landmarks -- old motels, hotels and restaurants. One is being built around an old American Indian mound. But city and county officials say the work represents a bright future for their respective economies. "You're getting people coming down here from as far as New York," said Ted Corcoran, president of the Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce. "It's becoming an international destination" for visitors and relocating locals alike.
Many developments planned
The last few years have seen a boom in building the kinds of condominiums common in Destin and South Walton County, but once …