By Erika Webb
The City of DeLand will resume sole ownership of the "Holiday House" building at 1701 Airport Terminal Drive, maybe.
Commissioners voted unanimously April 15 to authorize filing an eviction against Capital Source Bank/DPC Holdings LLC, the property lessee.
In 2011, Florida Gourmet Foods International, the building's former owner, turned its interest in the building over to its bank, CSB, to avoid foreclosure. As part of that process, the lease was then assigned to DPC Holdings, a company set up by CSB, to own the property.
The bank previously paid back due rent and taxes on the property, but since November has not been keeping rent payments current, according to the city, and has not paid property taxes due in the amount of $13,653.
"At this point we need to commence eviction action," City Attorney Darren Elkind stated in a Request for Commission Action. "This has been discussed with the bank's representative, and they understand that they may lose all of their interest in the building as a result of the eviction."
Mr. Elkind noted there will be a "minor cost" associated with the eviction proceeding, to cover court and attorney fees. However, he advised, the city will become the "owner" of the Holiday House building.
"If the bank elects to pay up all back due rent and taxes, they will also have to pay all court costs and attorney fees," he said. "Ultimately this action will have a positive net gain to the city."
Assistant City Manager Dale Arrington said it's too early in the process to know what will be done with the building should it end up back in the city's possession.
"Normally if we are successful in the foreclosure process, and the former owner does not present a way to remedy -- which I understand they are working on -- we would enter into a new lease with an owner for property which we own," Ms. Arrington said.
CSB tried unsuccessfully to sell the 40,000-square-foot building, which was listed with Total Realty for $150,000.
Potential buyers will own the building, but not the land.
In 1942, the U.S. Navy built a naval air base where the municipal airport is today. In 1946, the Navy turned the airbase -- now DeLand Industrial Park -- over to DeLand for the city's use.
The Airport Terminal Drive building originally was the headquarters of the Holiday House restaurant chain. Florida Gourmet Foods, which has gone out of business, bought the building, which is on city-owned land, in 2003.
In a phone interview a week after the meeting, Mr. Elkind said the eviction had been filed but he expects the bank will follow through with efforts to find a buyer.
"The bank will probably sell it," Mr. Elkind said.
CSB did not respond to requests for comment.
In other business, the commission approved a temporary sidewalk café application for Forno Bello at 138 S. Woodland Blvd.
An application is being processed for Tony's New York Pizza at 146 W. New York Ave.
Two so-far abstainers from the application process are Mr. Bill's Doughnuts, and Dick and Jane's Café, both between Indiana and Rich avenues.
Billy Reader, owner of Mr. Bill's, said he removed the tables and chairs from in front of his restaurant.
"Honestly, I ran out of time before my deadline (to apply)," Mr. Reader said. "It's not something I'm not ever going to do. If I could be guaranteed approval, I wouldn't mind spending the $50. I think I meet the requirements, but I don't want to get into a battle."
Dick and Jane's co-owner Scott Price owns the building at the corner of Rich Avenue and Woodland Boulevard. He said he also removed his tables and chairs to avoid being fined by the city.
Mr. Price is ambivalent about the stipulations that come with the temporary license.
"The city wants to have their cake and eat it, too," Mr. Price said. "They want me to hold them harmless, and they want me to pay their fees. They want me to turn over my property to them."
The agreement for temporary sidewalk café licenses states that the general public and the city will have a prescriptive easement over the full width of the sidewalk in front of licensed properties.
For now, he'll have to forego outdoor seating.
"I don't know what the loss will be to me," Mr. Price said. "People have told me when they see the tables and chairs out there, that's how they know I'm open."