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Developers step up apartment projects in Volusia, Flagler counties amid growing housing shortage

With the population continuing to grow in both Volusia and Flagler counties, developers are stepping up construction of new apartment communities here.

Projects already underway including the first new apartments to be built in Palm Coast in five years and 1,800 new units in Volusia County.

“There’s a big demand for apartments in the Daytona Beach area right now,” said Luke Wickham, senior vice president of multihousing investment properties at the Orlando office of commercial real estate brokerage CBRE.

“Daytona Beach has really improved and stepped up its game,” he said, adding that the increase in employment opportunities and addition of new entertainment/retail amenities such as One Daytona, Tanger Outlets and Tomoka Town Center are adding to the area’s appeal.

“Historically, Daytona Beach has been a blue-collar/Walmart type of economy, but that’s really changing with the new headquarters for Brown & Brown going up in downtown Daytona Beach, the new Amazon (last-mile delivery station) facility and the hospitals expanding,” he said.

In the past two-and-a-half years, Volusia County has seen the completion of new apartment complexes that have added 900 units, more than twice the number added the previous four years, according to CBRE data.

Developers are expected to add another 588 new apartment units in the county by year’s end, according to the report.

Apartment projects currently under construction include the 301-unit 500/East Apartments on LPGA Boulevard, east of Clyde Morris Boulevard that is expected to welcome its first residents in November, the 282-unit Icon One Daytona apartments that are expected to welcome its first residents in October, and the 292-unit Springs at Port Orange complex going up on the northwest corner of Summer Trees Road and South Williamson Boulevard, across from The Pavilion at Port Orange shopping center, that’s also expected to have some units available for occupancy by year’s end.

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Daytona Beach Latitude Margaritaville grows at red-hot pace

DAYTONA BEACH — Latitude Margarita helped propel housing starts in Volusia County last year to the highest level since 2005.

The Jimmy Buffett-themed “55-and-better” community in Daytona Beach, which welcomed its first residents in March 2018 sold an impressive 412 homes last year.

The 373 building permits issued last year for new homes at Latitude Margaritaville accounted for one out every eight new homes started in Volusia County, according to Volusia Building Industry Association statistics.

Latitude Margaritaville is off to an even stronger pace so far this year.

Through the first two months of 2019, Minto Communities, Margaritaville’s developer, has pulled 134 permits for new homes.

That’s an average of 17 a week for Margaritaville — one out of every three permits issued countywide.

“I would think that’s unprecedented in Volusia County,” said local observer Ronnie Bledsoe, an Ormond Beach developer who has worked in the local construction industry more than 40 years.

Helping drive the active adult community’s growth in new home sales has been the national attention it has received since its launch, thanks to its connection to singer-songwriter Buffett, whose tunes about laidback living in the tropics serves as the inspiration for Latitude Margaritaville.

The community’s strong start has also earned it a number of industry awards.

After being named earlier this year by Chicago-based 55Places.com as the nation’s top 55-plus community of 2018, Latitude Margaritaville in late February won several more awards from the National Association of Home Builders including “55+ Community of the Year.”

The Washington, D.C.-based trade association also named Minto the nation’s Builder of the Year and Latitude Margaritaville Daytona Beach won the NAHB’s gold medal for best sales/welcome center as well as awards for home design, landscaping and marketing.

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