By Paul Burdziakowski
For Hometown News
It has been a long time in the making, but the 162,000-square-foot Altamira Village shopping center in Port Orange is in the final stretch of being completed with an anticipated finish date of late summer or early fall.
The site is at Dunlawton Avenue and Taylor Branch Road.
The shopping center will include three new buildings under construction, one of which will be a BJ's Wholesale Club. There are plans for the second building to become an LA Fitness. The third and final building will be a multi-tenant structure that will allow up to six retailers or offices. The BJ's Wholesale Club and LA Fitness gym will be the first in East Volusia County.
There are several businesses already up and running in the new shopping center. The Golden Corral opened within the last six months and has been very popular and well received by the citizens of Port Orange. A CVS Pharmacy opened a year ago also is doing well. Aspen Dental opened within the last 6 months and Orange Leaf Yogurt will open very soon.
Another major part of the project is a four-lane extension of Yorktown Boulevard, going from Dunlawton Avenue to Taylor Road, which will help lessen the traffic load through that area. The new road area is near the Interstate 95 interchange, which is a primary corridor for Port Orange.
"The city has done an excellent job of attracting new businesses but with positive growth comes more traffic," said Chris Challis, a representative of the development group, 4 Lanes LLC. "The new roadway will provide an alternate means for travel in that congested area and we are excited about partnering with the city to be part of the solution."
Mr. Challis noted the new roadway has been in the county transportation plan since early 2000 and in the city transportation plan since 2005.
"It is coming along very well and it will be finished later this spring before the (newest buildings in the) shopping center opens," Mr. Challis said. "So far it has been graded and the curbs and gutters are in place. All that is left to do is put down pavement, sidewalks and landscaping."
The property Altamira Village sits on has been commercially zoned since 1975, but has sat undeveloped for quite some time. The developer, 4 Lanes LLC, bought the site and sent the first set of plans to the city in 2003.
The latest phase of construction started with relocation of the B-19 canal, which ran through the middle of the site. After successfully moving the canal to the back half of the property in February, the main plaza groundwork got underway.
"This has been a very big, time consuming, complicated and expensive project with lots of moving pieces," Mr. Challis said. "The roadway construction went through a multitude of different design concepts and the permitting required for the canal relocation had to go through federal, state and local agencies."
While this project has taken a great deal of time, Mr. Challis noted it will be worth the wait because once completed the new shopping center will provide an exciting new venue for everyone in East Volusia County, and particularly the citizens of Port Orange.