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Avalon Park Daytona poised to break ground for 1,600 homes, retail space later this year

First phase to bring 1,600 homes, commercial development to area west of I-95

DAYTONA BEACH — Orlando developer Beat Kahli confirmed plans to break ground on the first phase of his massive Avalon Park Daytona Beach development here in the second half of this year.

The native of Switzerland also expects to soon complete his purchase of 6,200 acres of timberland on the other side of Tiger Bay State Forest for his development. He hopes to build a 300-megawatt solar farm, pending regulatory approval.

The initial phase of Avalon Park Daytona Beach will bring more than 1,600 homes and 90,000 square feet of commercial space to an area along the south side of State Road 40/West Granada Boulevard roughly a mile west of Interstate 95.

A number of area residents have raised concerns about the enormous size of the planned Avalon Park Daytona Beach development. But consider this:

The commercial space in the initial phase will be less than double the size of the 53,000-square-foot mega Buc-ee’s convenience store that opened March 22 four miles to the south, next to the I-95/LPGA Boulevard interchange.

Upon full build out, however, the 3,000-acre Avalon Park Daytona Beach development is slated to have 10,000 homes, townhouses and apartments and 1 million square feet of commercial space. The latter would be nearly the size of Volusia Mall.

Kahli said it likely will take at least 20 years to get to that point.

“Look at how long it took for Avalon Park Orlando,” he said. “We moved in the first homeowners in the summer of 1999. It took us five to six years to have the core of the town and more than 20 to finish it. I always like to grow organically. It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon.”

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More retail coming to Daytona’s LPGA Boulevard

Site work has begun on three new retail projects just east of the Interstate-95/LPGA Boulevard interchange in Daytona Beach: a highly anticipated Buc-ee’s mega-sized gas station/travel convenience center, a new shopping center called Williamson Crossing, and a pair of new retail buildings at Tomoka Town Center.

DAYTONA BEACH — When Pete Tavolacci decided to open his Dominic’s Deli & Eatery at Tomoka Town Center in February, he did so because of the tremendous growth both at the center as well as the surrounding area.

“We were looking for an expansion site and this was a perfect fit,” said Tavolacci, who also owns a Dominic’s Deli in Palm Coast.

The Interstate 95/LPGA Boulevard interchange area is home on its east side to both Tomoka Town Center, the neighboring Tanger Outlets and the new Sam’s Club that opened in July.

On the west side is the new Publix-anchored Latitude Landings shopping center that opened in November next to Latitude Margaritaville and is set to soon add more shops and restaurants.

And more commercial growth is on the way.

This past week, site work began on not one, not two, but three new retail projects in the area just east of the Interstate-95/LPGA Boulevard interchange.

Land is now being cleared for the highly anticipated Buc-ee’s mega gas station/travel convenience center, a new retail center called Shoppes at Williamson Crossing, and a pair of new retail buildings at Tomoka Town Center, across from, Tavolacci’s deli/restaurant.

Jeff Preston of North American Development Group, the developer of Tomoka Town Center, which welcomed its first stores just over a year ago, confirmed that his company has begun construction of two side-by-side standalone retail buildings. One will become home to a Verizon Wireless store. The other will be offer storefront spaces for multiple tenants.

A site has also been cleared up the street from the two future retail buildings for a planned antique car-themed restaurant called Ford’s Garage, which is expected to soon start vertical construction, Preston said.

Talks also are underway with the Miller’s Ale House restaurant chain which has shown interest in possibly building a new standalone eatery on the undeveloped lot immediately south of the new Sam’s Club.

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Amazon: Daytona facility to create ‘hundreds’ of jobs

DAYTONA BEACH — Amazon officially confirmed plans to open a “delivery station” in Daytona Beach this year that will create “hundreds of job opportunities.”

“The new station will power Amazon’s last-mile delivery capabilities to speed up deliveries for customers in the Daytona Beach area,” Shone Jemmott, a spokeswoman for the Seattle-based Internet retail giant, wrote in an email to The News-Journal.

“The delivery station will create hundreds of job opportunities from full-time associates with comprehensive benefits starting on Day 1 to independent contractors who can … make up to $25 per hour delivering packages on behalf of Amazon,” Jemmott wrote. “We expect the site to open in 2019.”

Amazon has not sought economic incentives from either the city, county or state, according to Kent Sharples, president of the CEO Business Alliance. The group of local business leaders assisted the project’s developer VanTrust Real Estate in quickly securing permits from the city to begin site work.

“They did not ask for any and I am not aware of any incentives being offered,” Sharples said.

The announcement by Amazon comes after weeks of wide-spread speculation that the project recently begun by VanTrust directly behind the Trader Joe’s distribution center was for the eCommerce giant.

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Consolidated-Tomoka’s pending land sales could bring more homes, commercial development to area’s hottest corridor

As it prepares to host its annual shareholders meeting later this month, Consolidated-Tomoka Land Co. recently announced several changes to its “pipeline” of pending real estate sales in Daytona Beach.

They included a contract to sell the 1,600 acres east of Interstate 95 on the south side of West Granada Boulevard to an unidentified developer of master-planned communities for a project that could add up to 3,400 homes and 200,000 square feet of commercial space just north of Latitude Margaritaville.

The changes to the pipeline also included some surprises to local observers.

• The termination by New York-based O’Conner Capital Partners of its contract to buy 203 acres along the east side of Interstate 95, one block north of LPGA Boulevard.

• Consolidated-Tomoka’s landing of a contract to sell the 12 remaining undeveloped acres at Cornerstone Office Park to a developer other than the owners of the business park’s two existing buildings.

• A new contract to sell 38 acres along the east side of Clyde Morris Boulevard, just north of the new B.Braun distribution center to an unidentified developer.

• The reinstatement of a previously expired contract to sell 13 acres along the east side of I-95, immediately north of Tanger Outlets mall, to Canadian developer North American Development Group.

• The reinstatement of a contract to sell nearly 14 acres on the southwest corner of LPGA and Clyde Morris boulevards to Unicorp National Development Inc. The Orlando developer had previously stated its interest in developing the site as a future expansion of its planned Shoppes at Williamson Crossing retail complex, whose first phase is on the southeast corner of LPGA and Williamson boulevards behind the existing RaceTrac gas station.

Consolidated-Tomoka CEO John Albright characterized the termination of the O’Connor deal as part of “a return to normal” for his company’s pipeline of pending land sales, which has had most of its deals come to fruition in recent years.

The company last year sold 2,700 acres for a total of nearly $60 million, the most it has made from land sales in its 117-year history.

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Commercial developments surge in Volusia County

With builders poised to construct the most new homes in Volusia County this year since 2006, commercial developers are also picking up the pace.

Through the first six months of 2018, 127 permits have been issued for new commercial projects in the county, equal to or more than the full-year totals of any year since 2008.

“Everybody’s on a roll right now,” said Dick McNerney, a commercial real estate agent with Adams, Cameron & Co. Realtors. “There’s so much momentum now.”

McNerney recently helped negotiate the sale of 24 acres of wooded property owned by Volusia County Schools to German medical products maker B.Braun for a potential expansion of its manufacturing facilities along Mason Avenue, just west of Bill France Boulevard in Daytona Beach.

He is also assisting the family of the late Joseph Fisher in planning a 100,000-square-foot industrial building on Mason Avenue, just east of the Trader Joe’s distribution center.

The build-to-suit project being developed under the name Tiki Supreme is across the street from the site of two planned industrial buildings, one 251,000 square feet, the other 66,000 square feet, that VanTrust Real Estate is looking to develop.

Other notable commercial developments recently begun include the future headquarters for Security First Insurance, a $30 million 4-story, 136,000-square-foot building that raised its first walls in early August at Ormond Crossings in Ormond Beach, and the first of three planned retail buildings in front of Volusia Mall.

“The countywide commercial new construction permit activity reported for the second quarter of 2018 was, in a word, spectacular,” said Rob Ehrhardt, Volusia County economic development director.

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