Developer Buys Daytona Beachfront Parcels, Plans New Hotel
With the $6.3 million sale of 2.76 acres of beachfront property this week, a new hotel could be in the beachside’s future.
Palm Coast-based hotel developer Protogroup Inc. bought four lots south of the Plaza Resort & Spa on A1A near Seabreeze Boulevard on Monday. Dave Konchan, who brokered the sale with Charles Wayne Properties and spoke on behalf of the company for this story, said Protogroup had been looking into purchasing the property since August.
Although Konchan said the developer is interested in working with the county and city to fill the need for another convention hotel, Volusia County Chair Frank Bruno said the county is looking at other locations to meet that goal.
The sale parcel includes the closed Sea Side Inn, 500 N. Atlantic Ave., as well as empty lots at 422 and 414 N. Atlantic Ave. and 700 Oakridge Blvd. The properties were sold by CXA-1 Corp., a group of financial institutions which was put in charge of selling the properties after owner/developer Bray & Gillespie declared bankruptcy in 2008.
Not included in the sale was the Sea Dunes, a hotel on the southeast corner of A1A and Oakridge Boulevard.
Konchan said Protogroup has met with the city several times and is working to decide on a conceptual site plan for its hotel. He said he didn’t think there was a firm timeline for the hotel’s development or size yet, but said developers were hopeful they could meet the city’s need for a second convention hotel to complement the 744-room Hilton Daytona Beach Oceanfront Resort.
“They are well aware of the city and the county’s interest in acquiring a hotel to anchor the convention center and they have conceptual ideas along that line,” he said.
One challenge for the developer has been the Oakridge beach ramp, which although closed to traffic splits the parcel in two. Konchan said Protogroup had incorporated the ramp into its designs.
Protogroup has developed several hotels in Europe, Konchan said, and recently worked on the Days Inn off Interstate 95 in Palm Coast.
Konchan said the privately-funded hotel feasibility study released at the end of January by Orlando consulting firm Fishkind & Associates has sparked renewed interest in the area because of the study’s suggestion that the county and city of Daytona Beach contribute somehow to the project.
“I’ve got several clients that are buyers that have been interested in this market,” he said. “I’ve been working with people from London to Beijing, China, in regard to developing these hotel sites.”
Bruno said that while he wasn’t familiar with the sale, he was happy to hear of the potential for new development.
“It’s definitely a good sign that properties are being bought up at that price level, also because it would not be selling if it did not have a plan to develop it to make money on,” he said.
Bruno said the county’s concept for the area’s second convention hotel is concentrating on city- and county-owned property closer to the Ocean Center across from the beachside. Ideally, that hotel would be anywhere from 500 to 1,500 rooms, he said. No deal has been inked on that development, he said.
Bruno also reiterated his stance, contrary to one of the funding suggestions in the Fishkind report, that any hotel development would need to be financially independent and need to build without backing from the county or city. However, Bruno said the county and city could contribute to infrastructure such as a parking garage or pedestrian walkways.
“You don’t know what tomorrow brings and I’m very optimistic that something will happen soon,” he said.
Local real estate developer George Anderson, who was one of the backers of the privately funded Fishkind study, said he thought another hotel south of the Plaza would be a good thing. He also said he didn’t think that potential development would hurt his chances of getting a developer to consider building a hotel on his oceanside property that Boardwalk Amusements currently occupies.
“Any development is a good thing when you don’t got nothing going,” Anderson said.
View the original source here.