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FLClarkKent

Daytona Beach development

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Daytona is one of those places with so much untapped potential. Here's the latest proposal for Beach Street, which is the main drag in the city's very small downtown. This could be great news if it happens.

From the Daytona Beach News-Journal:

600 Beach Street condos on city agenda

DAYTONA BEACH -- Imagine transforming a sleepy downtown riverfront struggling for revival into a lively, around-the-clock destination.

That's the potential city and business leaders see in a $235 million plan by a South Florida developer to build up to 600 condominiums on downtown's Beach Street.

"It certainly is the kind of economic development we really need," Mayor Yvonne Scarlett-Golden said. "Downtown has been so isolated. One of the things that contributes to that isolation is we have no one living there."

A majority of the City Commission appears willing to join the mayor in authorizing the start of negotiations with Swerdlow Group at a meeting at 7 tonight at City Hall.

"All you're doing is talking," Commissioner Dwayne Taylor said.

Construction is targeted on 9 acres on the west side of Beach Street owned by Lloyd-Buick-Cadillac, which is a partner in the project. Negotiations are under way to include the former Massey Motors site, about 3.6 acres now owned by Daytona Harley-Davidson.

"Everything is still in process," said Bobby Thigpen, Lloyd-Buick-Cadillac president, who is looking for a site to move his dealership.

A fallback proposal envisions building 400 condos using mainly the Lloyd-Buick-Cadillac site.

The proposed condo units would have a view of the Halifax River and sell at an average price of $375,000.

Downtown has the beginnings of a revival going on, City Manager Jim Chisholm said. The News-Journal Center, a $26 million performing arts center, is being built on the riverfront and plans have been approved for the nearby Wall Street Lofts, which feature ground-floor shopping and offices topped with condos.

"By putting residents in units downtown, I think you'll see businesses flourishing trying to meet the needs of those residents," Chisholm said.

A downtown business leader said the condos would give the riverfront a new look along with a jolt of business as restaurants and shops would be able to stay open longer, serve more meals and make more sales.

"Right now it's a 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. district struggling to get to 10 p.m.," said Frank DeMarchi, executive director of the Daytona Beach Business Partnership, an association of downtown business. "The downtown would more likely turn it to a 24/7 district with activity virtually all the time."

Chisholm said negotiations would prohibit forced sales or public investment. But that might change to meet an overriding public need, he said. For example, the city might consider investing to add public parking spaces.

The original proposal to build three, 22-story condo towers with 40,000 square feet of retail space will likely change. Development Services Director Peter Aluotto said the project would likely be scaled back depending on zoning rules and how much property is assembled.

In addition to the downtown project, developers are planning to build nearly 3,000 condo units in riverfront projects within a few miles of downtown, including Holly Hill, Daytona Beach and South Daytona, DeMarchi said. That includes Swerdlow Group's plan to build 972 units in Holly Hill

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I hope that the developments keep on track. It seems that they are struggling to make ends meet on the deal. Best of luck to them because this will boost downtown and give Daytona a little bump.

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A bump would be a step in the right direction. The downtown area could be a really nice place, if some folks stepped in with some plans for revitalization. We'll see if this condo plan actually gets off the ground.

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Daytona Beach Area consists of 5 different cities and it is a long strecth of sprawl area with low density. The 5 cities are Daytona Beach, South Daytona Beach, Palm Castle, Ormond Beach and Holly Hill.

Most high rises are on the beach side and only Daytona Beach actually has a downtown on the mainland. Daytona Beach downtown is dead and the actual "actions" area is at the beach side.

It is just basically a redneck version of South Beach with cheesy stores.

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By VALERIE WHITNEY

Business Writer

Last update: March 25, 2005

DAYTONA BEACH -- A Pennsylvania farm boy who describes himself as a "beach bum at heart" is the new executive director of the Daytona Beach Partnership Association.

Rob Edwards, who most recently guided Main Street initiatives in Washington, D.C., succeeds Frank DeMarchi, who took a position with a local radio company. The partnership is the promotional group for downtown.

"I think there is a lot of potential here," said the 37-year-old Edwards, whose only knowledge of the area was limited to its status as a top Spring Break destination.

A lot of the assets downtown, such as the ballpark and river view, are very high quality for an area that does not get a lot of pedestrian traffic, he said.

Properties in downtown Beach Street are in good condition, overall, Edwards said. "These mom and pop retailers, as well as (other) unique concepts, are the bread and butter of Beach Street."

It's always good to have a chain store in the mix, he said, especially to satisfy vacationers. Too many chain stores, however, might create confusion by looking too much like a shopping mall.

Edwards also served as business development and promotions manager for the Downtown DC Business Improvement District, which is credited with reviving the area between the White House and Union Station.

Jim Lloyd, Partnership president, said the selection committee liked Edwards' "energy" during the interview process.

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Speedway to Go Upscale

Daytona International Speedway's owners plan to build a 600,000-square-foot complex of upscale retail outlets, offices, loft apartments and an 18-screen movie theater across the street from the famed racetrack. The redevelopment would begin with the razing of much of Speedplex Office Park, headquarters to the track's owner, International Speedway Corp., and NASCAR. If the planning, permitting and construction goes as scheduled, the as-yet unnamed complex could open by 2007.

http://www.theledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/art...5/1001/BUSINESS

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