More Daytona development set for LPGA area

The development surge along Daytona’s LPGA corridor could soon become a flood. Projects are planned on both sides of Interstate 95 that could bring more shops, eateries, hotels, homes, apartments and possibly a movie theater. Not to mention a whole bunch more traffic.

DAYTONA BEACH — The development surge along this city’s LPGA Boulevard corridor could soon become a deluge.

Projects planned on both sides of Interstate 95 are poised to bring more shops, eateries, hotels, homes, apartments and possibly a movie theater.

Not to mention more traffic.

“Activity begets more activity,” said Carl Lentz IV, managing partner of SVN Alliance Commercial Real Estate Advisors.

“Traffic is a good thing for retailers.”

Since 2015, the I-95/LPGA area has seen the opening of three shopping centers — Tanger Outlets, Tomoka Town Center and Latitude Landings.

It has added regional distribution centers for Trader Joe’s and B.Braun as well as a last-mile delivery station for Amazon, the e-commerce giant.

Other recently completed commercial projects along the LPGA corridor include the new Sam’s Club, Stor-It Storage Center and Superwash Express.

The corridor has also seen the opening of two new residential subdivisions that have added more than 1,000 homes and three new luxury apartment complexes with more than than 900 units.

Projects under construction include a Buc-ee’s next to the I-95/LPGA Boulevard interchange. When it opens next year, the 120-fuel pump facility will be the largest gas station in Florida. It will include a 53,000-square-foot travel convenience center, bigger than most supermarkets.

Also going up are more restaurants and shops at Tomoka Town Center.

New tenants expected to open later this year include a Duck Donuts gourmet donuts shop next to Blaze Pizza, and a 5.11 Tactical outdoor apparel shop next to Barnes & Noble, said Tomoka Town Center developer Jeff Preston.

Other tenants coming to Tomoka Town Center include a Rooms to Go store that will be built along I-95 just north of Tanger Outlets and an antique car-themed Ford’s Garage restaurant next to Chipotle.

Across the street on the east side of Williamson Boulevard, Orlando developer Unicorp is building a new shopping center called Shoppes at Williamson Crossing.

New luxury apartments are going up both along LPGA and Williamson boulevards that are expected to add more than 1,000 units.

And that’s just the beginning.

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Winter Park firm buys 72 acres ‘every developer in town’ wanted

Jack Witthaus
Staff Writer
Orlando Business Journal

A Central Florida developer just bought land that real estate executives had been courting for decades, setting up a major commercial development near the Orlando International Airport.

Winter Park-based Whitley Capital LLC acquired the 72 acres in late June for $12.2 million, or roughly $169,444 an acre, at Taft Vineland Road and Orange Avenue, according to the parties involved in the deal. The developer plans to start construction in mid-2020 on three speculative industrial buildings totaling roughly 830,000 square feet. Construction may wrap up in 2021.

The deed hasn’t been recorded in Orange County.

Daytona Beach-based Consolidated-Tomoka Land Co. (NYSE Amex: CTO) supplied an $8 million loan as part of the transaction. The seller, Cone Betty S Estate, was represented by JLL’s Bret Felberg, senior vice president of capital markets; Josh Lipoff, executive vice president; and Jeff Morris, managing director.

Developers for years had eyed the site, including prominent industrial real estate company West Palm Beach-based McCraney Property Co. The developer planned to build 977,200 square feet of rail-served, industrial and warehouse space on the site at 88 Taft Vineland Road.

The land’s size and proximity to the airport made it desirable, according to real estate experts. “Every single developer in town was after that land,” said Bo Bradford, co-president of Lee & Associates Central Florida, who wasn’t involved in the deal.

Meanwhile, Central Florida’s overall growth in recent years has been driving industrial demand, including for warehouses, distribution centers and manufacturing plants. In addition, industrial already is a hot sector in Central Florida, mostly because of the e-commerce boom led by Seattle-based giant Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN). Retailers want distribution centers closer to their customers so they can deliver products faster, which is why new users are lining up for space.

High demand has caused a surge in rental prices. Central Florida’s average industrial rent in secondquarter 2019 is $7.20 per square foot, up from $6.30 per square foot in second-quarter 2018, Lee & Associates reported.

Downtown Daytona project gets first 2 approvals

City commissioners unanimously approved zoning and comprehensive plan changes that allow up to 300 new luxury apartments, shops, a grocery store, restaurants and parking garage on the block just east of Ridgewood Avenue that’s been occupied by First Baptist Church since 1898.

DAYTONA BEACH — A key block in the city’s historic downtown core took a leap toward the future Wednesday night.

City commissioners unanimously approved zoning and comprehensive plan changes that allow up to 300 new luxury apartments, shops, a grocery store, restaurants and parking garage on the block just east of Ridgewood Avenue that’s been occupied by First Baptist Church since 1898. The church is building a new campus on Tomoka Farms Road and is relocating this fall.

“I think it’ll have a large impact downtown and bring people back downtown again,” City Commissioner Ruth Trager said after Wednesday’s meeting. “It’s a lovely part of the city with Riverfront Park. The idea of a grocery store there to me is very exciting. I can see nothing but positivity.”

The vote was the first of two decisions needed from city commissioners to solidify the changes. Final votes on amending the property’s comprehensive plan and switching the zoning from downtown redevelopment to planned development are slated to be taken at commissioners’ June 19 meeting. A yes vote on the comprehensive plan changes would allow more of the property to be designated for high-intensity uses and increase the density from 40 dwelling units per acre to 150 housing units per acre.

Consolidated-Tomoka Land Co. has bought out most of the block dominated by First Baptist’s buildings. The block, which until recently was also home to First Methodist Church, is bordered by Ridgewood Avenue, International Speedway Boulevard, Palmetto Avenue and Bay Street.

Demolition of the three First Baptist buildings remaining on the property could start in October and construction will begin next year.

Designs are being finalized, but for now the conceptual plan puts a five-story apartment building on the corner of Bay Street and Palmetto Avenue. The multi-story parking garage, which could have at least 400 parking spaces, would stand at Ridgewood and Bay. The design shows the garage and apartment building connected by a covered pedestrian overpass and street-level retail shops in both buildings.

Renderings show the grocery store and its parking lot on the corner of ISB and Palmetto, a standalone building in the middle of the property that could be either a restaurant or shop, and a restaurant fronting Ridgewood between the existing Popeye’s fast-food eatery and Beck’s office building.

If city commissioners approve the land use changes, the city and Consolidated-Tomoka officials will sign off on a planned district agreement that would require the first round of applications for construction permits to be submitted within five years. Construction would have to be substantially complete within eight years. Any additional phases would have to be complete within 20 years.

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Brown & Brown project making a ‘colossal difference’

The insurance giant’s $40M HQ plan already making an impact by creating jobs, attracting other developers

DAYTONA BEACH — Brown & Brown’s planned 11-story headquarters complex on North Beach Street, which recently began construction, is being hailed by community leaders for ushering in a much-needed renaissance of this city’s struggling downtown.

Daytona Beach Mayor Derrick Henry described the $40 million project as one that is already making a “colossal difference” for the city because of its promise of bringing hundreds of high-paying jobs and by “creating energy and vibrance in the downtown area.”

Brown & Brown CEO J. Powell Brown said his company is “excited that this building will be part of the redevelopment of downtown.”

Noting the fact that the insurance brokerage that has grown to be the sixth-largest in the country, was founded in 1939 just a few blocks away by his grandfather and uncle, Brown told the gathering, “We’ve always been and always will be committed to this community.”

John Albright, the CEO of Consolidated-Tomoka, was one of the more than 300 people who turned out for Brown & Brown’s invitation-only flag-raising event.

“This kind of commitment and investment will do wonders for downtown,” Albright said of Brown & Brown’s project.

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Proposed “Project Delta” Could Transform Downtown Daytona Beach

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Big changes could soon be on the way in Downtown Daytona Beach because of “Project Delta.”

Project Delta is the brain child of Consolidated-Tomoka Land Co., which owns a nearly 6-acre lot at the intersection of Palmetto Avenue and International Speedway Boulevard.

The company wants to fill that land with a 300-unit apartment complex, a grocery store, shops, and parking.

“We kind of sat down with city management and staff and said, ‘What is needed in downtown Daytona?’ The first thing they said was residents, and second was a grocery store,” said Scott Bullock, the Vice President of Real Estate with Consolidated-Tomoka.

In order for that project to become a reality, the land first has to be rezoned. Right now, a church that plans to move at the end of the year takes up the majority of that property.

In a beginning step, the law firm Cobb Cole presented the plans to the Downtown Development Board on Tuesday. If built, the project could generate money for the area, especially in taxes, since the church is exempt from taxes.

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Orlando developer takes over Daytona mystery grocer project

DAYTONA BEACH — An Orlando developer with plans to develop a shopping center on the southeast corner of LPGA and Williamson boulevards now plans to do the same thing on the corner across the street.

Unicorp National Development Inc. on Wednesday closed its $3.3 million purchase of nine acres on the northeast corner of LPGA and Wiliamson, a site that a different developer previously had under contract and advertised as a future “grocery anchored center.”

John Albright, president and CEO of Consolidated-Tomoka Land Co., the company that sold the nine acres to Unicorp said the same specialty grocer that previous developer Tailwinds Development had been negotiating with to anchor the project remains interested in opening a store there.

“It’s basically the same grocer,” he said, adding that the grocery chain whom he declined to identify offers “a mix” of organic and natural food products.

When Consolidated-Tomoka originally announced the specialty grocer’s interest in anchoring the project in 2017, Albright told The News-Journal that the store likely would be the chain’s first in the Volusia-Flagler area.

On Thursday, Albright declined to repeat that statement, adding that the disclosure of more details would be up to Unicorp CEO Chuck Whittall.

The News-Journal was not able to immediately reach Whittall for comment.

Unicorp late last year bought 23 acres on the southeast corner of LPGA and Williamson, behind the existing RaceTrac gas station, with plans to develop a retail complex called the Shoppes at Williamson Crossing.

On Thursday, Consolidated-Tomoka announced that Unicorp also agreed to reinstate two contracts to buy additional land from the Daytona Beach-based company.

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A vision and a challenge

The early architectural drawings are beautiful to the point where it’s hard to recognize them as Daytona Beach.

In the fight to clean up Daytona Beach’s troubled core beach area, and continue the progress on its riverfront downtown, we have often offered this advice: Look for modest but achievable ways to reclaim abandoned businesses, weed-filled parking lots and outward signs of decay. Then hope, and expect, that grander and more transformative projects will take root.

But Consolidated-Tomoka Land Co. isn’t waiting around for that incremental change. Earlier this month, officials with the Daytona-Beach based property investment firm proposed two major projects — one on beachside, the other on property adjacent to the Beach Street shopping district — that could accelerate the revitalization of communities that desperately need help.

Daytona Beach has seen developers weave castles in the air before, and watched them collapse and blow away just as readily. This is different because Consolidated-Tomoka is local. Executives with the company understand the challenges and opportunities in the Daytona Beach market far better than any out-of-town developer could. They’ve seen the blight around Main Street, the panhandlers and open drug use within blocks of the city’s beachfront and along Ridgewood Avenue. They know what they’re getting into.

And yet, they believe it can get better. The early architectural drawings are beautiful to the point where it’s hard to recognize them as Daytona Beach. Right now, they’re just ideas of what could happen — but the vision they present is a grand one.

The beachside project would be directly south of the Ocean Center complex, extending to Main Street. Plans include hundreds of upscale apartments or condominiums in a high-rise tower, with retail and strolling areas and a covered pedestrian overpass that would give residents safe access to the beach, hotels and dining on the east side of State Road A1A. A new garage would replace surface parking in the area.

The mainland project, code-named “Project Delta,” proposes 300 more luxury apartments and retail space, including a spot for a grocery store — something downtown has lacked for decades. The target area runs from Bay Street south to International Speedway Boulevard, and Ridgewood Avenue to Palmetto Avenue. Consolidated-Tomoka already owns much of that property, including the site the First Baptist Church will soon vacate. That proposal is a natural complement to other exciting developments in the area, including Brown & Brown’s headquarters that could bring 600 employees to downtown.

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Record sales year heralds new directions for Consolidated-Tomoka

Daytona Beach’s one-time largest private landowner is distancing itself from that distinction in a hurry.

Consolidated-Tomoka Land Co. sold 2,700 acres in Daytona Beach last year that are expected to bring hundreds more apartment units, homes and commercial properties to an area already bursting with activity.

Those transactions totaled nearly $60 million, the most revenue from land sales in a single year in the company’s 117-year history.

“It was a good year,” CEO John Albright said.

Consolidated-Tomoka has pending deals in its pipeline that could fetch as much as $70 million this year and $30 million more in 2020. By then, its local real estate holdings would be reduced to 3,700 acres — less than a sixth of what it owned in the mid-1990s.

The record sales come even as Albright had to fend off attacks from the company’s largest shareholder — who pushed for his resignation the past two years — and as he looks to a future in which Consolidated-Tomoka will have to reinvent itself again.

The company, which got its start producing the materials used to seal decks of wooden ships, is now moving from selling land to managing income-producing properties in multiple states. Two of those projects are local: multi-use apartment and retail developments in Daytona Beach’s downtown and beachside tourism district.

As Volusia County ponders a vote for a half-cent increase to the sales tax — driven in part by the needs of new development on former Consolidated-Tomoka lands — it seems clear that the company’s influence on Daytona Beach won’t be ending with the sale of its largest holdings.

Whether that’s a good thing is a matter of perspective.

On the one hand, Consolidated-Tomoka’s land sales have meant new housing, shopping and jobs. In the words of City Commissioner Rob Gilliland, the company is “the biggest job creator and driver of economic development over the last decade that we’ve seen in Daytona Beach.”

If that sounds like more than a touch of understatement, it could be because 2019 might be even better.

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New Daytona retail magnet draws national chains

DAYTONA BEACH — There’s a new shopping mall in town, just in time for the holidays.

Tomoka Town Center is the name of a 235-acre development area along the east side of Interstate 95 in Daytona Beach that became home to the Tanger Outlets mall that opened in November 2016. The 350,000-square-foot outlet mall brought 70 stores as well as a handful of restaurants to the area.

Now a new, even bigger retail complex has opened alongside Tanger: a 400,000-square-foot “power lifestyle” center featuring larger “junior box”-size stores.

In the coming months, the new center, known simply as Tomoka Town Center, is set to add more stores as well as several eateries, including the Volusia-Flagler area’s first Blaze Pizza and Dave & Buster’s restaurant/video arcade.

Stores that have opened so far at the new power lifestyle center include Hobby Lobby, Five Below, Burlington, T.J. Maxx, Ross Dress For Less, DSW Shoes and Tuesday Morning.

The area’s first Academy Sports + Outdoors recreational gear store quietly opened its doors on Monday with plans to hold its grand opening festivities this weekend including product demonstrations, games and giveaways.

“It’s fantastic,” said Port Orange resident Rick Winters last week as he and his wife Brenda were checking out Tomoka Town Center for the first time.

“It’s wonderful and it’s new and refreshing,” he said, noting that the new Hobby Lobby, T.J. Maxx and Burlington stores at Tomoka Town Center are “a whole lot cleaner and more modernized” than their respective now-closed old locations along West International Speedway Boulevard.

Other tenants set to open this fall include Ulta Beauty on Nov. 2, Bealls Outlet and Home Centric in either November or December, and in early December Blaze Pizza, the rapidly growing fast casual restaurant chain, whose investors include NBA star LeBron James.

“Everything is as positive as we could hope for, based on the reports we’ve been getting from the retailers (that have opened so far) and the community,” said Jeff Preston, managing partner of the U.S. operations for North American Development Group, the power lifestyle center’s developer.

North American recently erected a large sign for Tomoka Town Center along I-95, as well as monument signs at each of its various entrances along LPGA, Williamson and Cornerstone boulevards. Each list some of the growing number of tenants at the center.

That tenant list is set to grow even more in the new year, with the anticipated openings of Culver’s, Arby’s, Chipotle, Barnes & Noble, and T-Mobile, along with Dave & Buster’s and Ford’s Garage.

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Grocery store projects move ahead on LPGA Blvd.

Two projects to bring grocery stores to Daytona Beach’s booming LPGA Boulevard corridor are closer to becoming a reality.

General contractor Jon M. Hall Company recently began clearing land on the north side of LPGA Boulevard, just west of Interstate 95, to make way for a highly anticipated Publix-anchored shopping center called Latitude Landings.

“We expect to go vertical with the first phase before the end of the year and opening in late 2019,” said the project’s developer Sam Sutton, president of Sutton Properties.

The 85,000-square-foot initial phase will include a 48,000-square-foot Publix Supermarket as well as a 14,000-square-foot Publix liquor store.

“We look forward to announcing some more tenants closer to the end of the year,” he said, adding that the initial phase will include a restaurant.

Meanwhile, a new developer has taken over another planned retail project just east of Interstate 95: a grocery store-anchored retail center called Williamson Ridge Shopping Center at the northeast corner of LPGA and Williamson boulevards.

Tailwinds Development is best known locally for developing the Publix grocery store-anchored Country Club Corners shopping center in DeLand.

The Lake Mary-based developer recently erected “COMING SOON Grocery Anchored Center” signs for its latest project.

The developer is also circulating fliers to local commercial real estate agents and brokers that include a site map for Williamson Ridge showing three available outparcels in yellow as well as two connected “inline” store pads in red.

The outparcels would allow two standalone stores of up to 9,000 square feet in size and one of up to 7,000 square feet.

The inline stores would be a 30,000-square-foot yet-to-be named grocer and an adjacent 14,000 square foot pad, also for a tenant yet to be determined.

The disclosure of Tailwind’s pending land purchase comes a year-and-a-half after seller Consolidated-Tomoka Land Co. announced that a developer had put the property under contract.

The site is an L-shaped property that borders the existing 2-story Concierge office building at 1616 Concierge Blvd., both on its west and north sides.

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