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Young professional: I love luxury apartment living

The current surge in new luxury apartment projects does nothing to fill the Daytona Beach area’s need for more affordable housing, but local observer G.G. Galloway believes it could be helping address another chronic problem.

“For years, our greatest export has been our young people,” said the longtime commercial Realtor, referring to the “brain drain” trend of homegrown talent leaving to pursue opportunities in larger metro areas.

“Now we’re starting to keep our greatest asset, the young minds being educated right here,” said Galloway, a partner with Coldwell Banker Commercial Benchmark Properties in Ormond Beach. “An aging community dies. We need to keep our young people here.”

Keys to attracting and retaining young professionals include creating more high-paying jobs such as the ones being offered at companies like Daytona Beach-based Brown & Brown Insurance, Ormond Beach-based Security First Insurance, both of which are building new headquarters in the area, as well as medical products manufacturer B.Braun.

Other keys include opportunities for millennials to connect with one another, such as the Volusia and Ormond young professionals groups and the need for amenities such as a greater selection of shopping, dining and entertainment options, which are being created in places like Tanger Outlets and Tomoka Town Center shopping centers as well as the One Daytona complex across from Daytona International Speedway.

But there is also the need for housing options that can appeal to young professionals.

That’s where luxury apartments, such as the new Tomoka Pointe Apartments set to welcome its first new tenants next to Tomoka Town Center, and Icon One Daytona Apartments along International Speedway Boulevard come in.

Christian Harris, 22, is an account executive with Brown & Brown who has enlisted two friends, both also in their twenties, to become roommates with him in one of the first apartment units at Tomoka Pointe.

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Bayshore Capital, former Hard Rock developer, returns with luxury condo project

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.

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