By Estella R. Fullmer
For Hometown News
NEW SMYRNA BEACH -- Marketing of The Village at New Smyrna Marina has begun as the developer nears breaking ground on the first homes at the project on North Causeway.
Construction of the model house should begin within the next few weeks, according to Bill Roe, president of Ocean Properties, who is in charge of marketing the new development. "We hope to be sold out within two years," said Mr. Roe when asked about the marketing plan.
The developers want to attract boaters and sport fishermen who sail the ocean and those who take to the Intracoastal Waterway as well.
Ocean Properties is targeting the Central Florida market with a focus on Seminole and Osceola counties. "We have a lot of great things planned," Mr. Roe said.
His firm is spearheading its efforts at the Miami Boat Show on Feb. 18 by networking with several major boat manufacturers in Miami and handing out literature. They hope to entice some of those manufacturers to New Smyrna Beach to a local boat show that is in the works. Details are still being developed and it won't be held until a few of the homes are built.
The local yacht club is hosting the Lipton Sail Boat Regatta in April and working with Ocean Properties to try to increase participation in the boat race and get the word out about the new marina community. As part of that campaign, Ocean Properties will have a full-page ad featuring the marina project in the Regatta's brochure.
Mr. Roe also was excited about a fishing tournament the developers are arranging to showcase the marina. The developers have a history of attending major boating and fishing events along the east coast. "Their vision is to bring this to New Smyrna Beach," Mr. Roe said. One of the reasons they chose this location is because it is closer to the inlet and closer for those boaters wanting to enter major fishing tournaments, such as in Daytona Beach. The dates for the fishing tournament have not yet been determined.
The New Smyrna Marina at 248 North Causeway, owned by New Smyrna Holdings LLC, is under construction and will consist of 21 single-family, two- and three-story homes averaging around 1,300 square feet with "high end" amenities, Mr. Roe said.
According to city documents they are expected to cost $350,000 to $400,000 per unit to build. Granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, balconies and many other elite items will be standard.
"They hope to have camaraderie in the community," Mr. Roe said about a vision of a close-knit village the developers want to achieve.
Other features of the project include 35 deep water slips for large boats, hi-lo dry storage for 21 smaller boats, a private community swimming pool and spa as part of the home owners association, a restaurant, 50,000 square feet of outdoor event space and separate climate controlled storage space for boaters according to a Community Redevelopment Agency meeting agenda. Ocean Properties will manage The Village at New Smyrna Marina Homeowners Association and manage rentals of the storage units. The project is located at the former Feger's Marina.
"The bulkhead is complete and the floating docks are nearly complete," Mr. Roe said. "Construction on the homes should begin within 60 days and they should go up fast."
He doesn't expect any delays from money issues since the owners, twin brothers Timothy W. Phillips and William T. Phillips, are self-funding the project.
The developers have signed on new owners for the restaurant, which will be called The Outriggers Tiki Bar and Grill, Mr. Roe said. It is planned as an upscale sports restaurant with a casual family atmosphere.
Mr. Roe praised the city for its cooperation with the developer and granting the necessary permits in a timely manner. "The city has been great and very cooperative," he said.
There is one snag with a request for CRA funding, which is still being ironed out, and the item was on the docket for the CRA's Feb. 12 meeting. Mr. Roe explained the developers requested some CRA money and had been expecting to receive a portion of the available funds. The city has yet to approve CRA funding for the project. He is confident the issue will be resolved shortly.
"There has not been any public opposition to this project as far as I have heard," City Planning Manager Gail Henrikson said. "Everyone has been very excited about it."
Discussion of the project at the Planning and Zoning Board's Feb. 4 meeting was tabled until March, after the CRA meeting this month. The project is likely to be discussed at the next city commission meeting as well.