Plans for the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Research Park are starting to move from the general to the specific.
While hopefully the school will pick a shorter name for it, it has requested modifications for one area of the research park, on the east side of Clyde Morris Boulevard, to better accommodate what will actually get built there.
So far, the only operation in the research park is Larsen Motorsports, which opened its High-Performance Vehicles Research and Development Center into a building that was used for the Volusia County Schools bus terminal on the west side of Clyde Morris earlier this year.
Diamond Aircraft Industries has already signed an agreement with ERAU to locate on the park's east side. There is hope Boeing also will put a jet engine testing facility there in the future.
For now, though, it's great to see the park moving closer to putting in the infrastructure for new buildings. While detractors in years' past put down Embry-Riddle as a glorified pilot's school, the university's administration can thumb their noses at them as it is quickly moving toward becoming one of the world's leading aviation and aerospace research complexes with the facilities to prove it.
With everything else Volusia County already has going for it, ERAU's efforts are one more thing to make it one of the most diverse and vibrant places on earth.
Speaking of things Volusia already has going for it, Brown & Brown Inc. just released its third quarter earnings report. Net income for the third quarter of 2013 was $57.75 million, or $0.39 per share, compared with $49.5 million, or $0.34 per share for the same quarter of 2012, an increase of 14.7 percent. Total revenue for the third quarter was $359.3 million, compared with 2012 third-quarter revenue of $303.8, an increase of 18.3 percent. Gaudy numbers to say the least, yet the news of Wall Street was that the company failed to meet analysts' expectations. Boy, talk about persnickety. Through the first nine months of 2013, the company has already surpassed $1 billion in revenue and is well on its way to its goal of $2 billion in annual revenue.
Back to aviation: Despite the lack of new flights at Daytona Beach International Airport, passenger traffic still increased to 44,270 in September, up 3 percent from 42,865 in September 2012. The all important load factor (the percentage of seats filled on flights) was at 87 percent, up from 85 percent in 2012. Yes, that means there are a lot of crowded flights going in and out of DBIA. I guess when the airlines have to start hanging passengers off the wings, they might consider adding some flights.
Not a lot of big commercial real estate deals lately, but Chase Bank closed on the property at the corner of Dunlawton Boulevard and Peninsula Drive in Daytona Beach Shores. The company paid $1.6 million for the spot where a new beach supply and gift store had just been built a few years ago. Before that, there was a restaurant there. Still seems like a strange place to put a bank office, but DiMucci Cos. put its offices there, so maybe not.
As I've said before, just when you think Volusia has enough dollar stores, here comes another one. Dollar General wants to replace the restaurant building with a store at 2745 N. Atlantic Ave. in Daytona Beach.
Managing Editor Cecil G. Brumley has been tracking business and the economy in Volusia County for more than 16 years. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @cecilbrumley.