By Richard Mundy
For Hometown News
A face-lift for a popular shopping center in Ormond Beach is on the way.
With the help of $250,000 in Community Redevelopment Area funds, the remodel will be on six buildings in the Granada Plaza center. The work must begin before Nov. 2, according to the grant agreement, and be completed by Sept. 3, 2014. No businesses are expected to close during the process.
Granada Plaza is a large retail shopping, restaurant, and personal service property with eight adjoining buildings at the intersection of Oceanshore Boulevard and East Granada Boulevard. The last major renovation to the building facade occurred in 1987.
The renovations will involve the breakup of the long elevation of the building with differing wall forms, colors and potentially architectural styles to vary the scale and form and make it seen more like separate buildings. The plans are in keeping with the overall architectural design plans prescribed for the city.
The property has 33 businesses, including BB&T, Peach Valley Café, TGI Fridays, Starbucks and Walgreens.
In the grant, the city agreed to match dollar for dollar the remodeling costs of each of the six buildings up to a maximum of $50,000. The total grant is just under $250,000 with the remodeling cost to the center at just under $730,000. Total cost of the project is expected to be $1.2 million.
Commissioner Troy Kent said the CRA program has been "wildly successful."
"The 'bang for the buck' and the return on investment ... this money is actually generated here from this district, so this is exactly what we were hoping for ... return on investment and to spruce up the area, and that's what we've seen up and down Granada," Commissioner Kent said.
Commissioner Rick Boehm said, "We're being consistent with the development of Ormond ... upgrade this entire Plaza ... which will beautify the entire area down there, re-hab it and it will be a significant improvement."
Commissioner James Stowers added, "I think this is a wonderful redevelopment project that will take this up many levels in terms of the effects ... I would ask hopefully in the near future that we have similar grant requests from the other two buildings ... to 'round' out this whole center here."
The shopping center is owned by Granada Plaza Group and managed by Charles Wayne Properties of Daytona Beach. A vacant building and the Outback Steakhouse are not included in the project.
Mayor Ed Kelley reminded listeners that if they were to go online they could view some of the architectural renderings of what the Plaza renovations would look like. Mayor Kelley called the Plaza "the gateway to the city."
Commissioner Bill Partington said, "CRAs can be a fantastic tool for redevelopment and when they're rendered correctly like this one has been it's just fantastic."
The CRAs the city has implemented have not only improved a particular property, but revitalized the area around it as well, Commissioner Partington said.
"CRAs can work well when they're done right," Mayor Kelley said.
The grant request was passed unanimously.
An additional resolution granted S.R. Perrott Inc. the Qualified Targeted Industry status, qualifying it for financial support for construction of a 90,000-square-foot distribution facility at 1280 N. U.S. 1. The total funding could reach $183,821 for capital improvements and tax incentives.
Also, the commissions granted Ormond Beach Police a 1.5 percent wage increase to the officers' base pay rate as a result of collective bargaining with the Florida Fraternal Order of Police.
The commissioners approved a tentative increase in property taxes of $4.1181 per $1,000 of taxable property values. This rate is 4 percent above the rollback rate of $3.9596. Increases were also made to debt service rates. For an average house, the tax bill increase would be in the $9-$10 range. Final approval will be considered after a public hearing on Sept. 17.
In other business, rate increases were approved for both water and sewer services (2.5 percent) as well as for collection of solid waste and recyclables (2 percent.) The rate increase for water and sewer is "to help us provide $400,000 toward replacement of two-inch water pipes that serve primarily the beach side," explained Mayor Kelley. Some of the pipes are 40 to 50 years old, and are rusted and broken, including iron pipes and galvanized pipes. "It will help save water because of the current leaks ... and provide a better quality of water," the mayor said.