DAYTONA BEACH SHORES — When the grand opening bash for the new Daytona Beach Hard Rock Hotel was held earlier this month, it was an admittedly bittersweet moment for attendee Henry Wolfond.
“It would’ve been great to be celebrating the opening of the Hard Rock that we would’ve developed,” the CEO of Bayshore Capital Inc. conceded in a recent interview.
Daytona Beach-based Summit Hospitality Management Group took over efforts to bring the Hard Rock brand to Daytona Beach a year ago — with encouragement from Wolfond — after Toronto, Canada-based Bayshore suspended its own project two miles down the street, which it began in 2013.
Today, the 10.2-acre site at 801 S. Atlantic Ave. where Bayshore intended to build its Hard Rock Hotel & Cafe remains vacant. But Wolfond and company are back with a new project less than a mile to the south: a sleek, 12-story luxury condo tower called Max Daytona.
“Max will be the benchmark for the new standard of living on the World’s Most Famous Beach,” Wolfond declared in a recent press release.
A sales center for Max Daytona has opened on the development site at 1901 S. Atlantic Ave. in Daytona Beach Shores where Wolfond and other Bayshore executives recently spoke with The News-Journal.
While Bayshore has yet to earn a return on the $13 million it spent on its Hard Rock project before it was scrapped, Wolfond said his company gained a valuable insight from the experience, and it isn’t what some might expect.
“One of the key lessons we learned (from the original Hard Rock project) was that there is demand for luxury condos. People are willing to pay more money for a higher level of quality,” Wolfond said.
Prices for condo units at Max Daytona will range from $400,000 to more than $1.4 million. That works out on a square foot basis from the low $300s to approximately $650 — well above the current going rate for oceanfront condos locally.
The median sale price for beachside condos sold in April in the Daytona Beach area was $207,000, a 20 percent increase over the median price of units sold a year ago, according to local observer Ron Wysocarski, the CEO and broker of the Wyse Home Team Realty in Port Orange and Flagler Beach. The majority of the 143 condos sold were oceanfront units along A1A, with the rest along the Halifax River, he said.
Max Daytona’s prices may seem high for the Daytona Beach area, but it’s “luxury at a fraction of the cost” for comparable oceanfront luxury condos in other parts of the state, including Sarasota, where buyers can expect to pay “close to $1,000″ a square foot and Miami, where the cost for oceanfront condos in some areas can be in the $3,000 a square foot range, according to Wolfond.
Bayshore has already received deposits for 21 of the condo tower’s 72 available units, with those deposits set to become “hard contracts” this coming week, he said.
“Once we have 30 contracts, that will give us the green light to proceed with construction,” said Lorne Hochstadter, Bayshore’s director of marketing.
Wolfond said his company plans to break ground on the project this fall, with the first units ready for occupancy in either summer or fall 2020. The total cost of the project, including acquiring the land, is expected to be $40 million.