PALM COAST — Most cities in Volusia and Flagler counties started with a downtown, grew outward with single-family homes and then worked to revitalize the downtown areas after the suburbs took shape.
But in places like Palm Coast and Deltona, where a city was developed by a corporation, the process gets reversed. First come the lot sales and suburbs, then comes the hard work of trying to create a downtown from scratch.
Palm Coast officials have pinned their hopes on Town Center, launched 10 years ago with great fanfare and currently home to a movie theater, shopping centers, office space, lodging and restaurants.
Those pieces were put into place while the economy was revving, particularly in Flagler County. Then came the crash of the recession and hundreds of acres stayed vacant. Now with the economy on the move again, the vision for Town Center is coming back into sharper focus.