By Cecil G. Brumley
The commercial real estate deals have picked up recently with the biggest one coming in at $11 million for the Island Club apartments on Beville Road.
R.J. Finlay & Co., a New Hampshire multi-family housing developer and manager, acquired the 204-unit apartment complex from Colorado-based AIMCO, which bought it for about $11.3 million in 2002. Finlay is renaming it the Granite at Porpoise Bay. Finlay already owns other commercial properties in Florida and is building new apartments in Port St. Lucie.
Another property that sold for about the same as its previous price was the Publix shopping center in Holly Hill. H&R REIT, a Downsview, Ont., Canada, investment company, paid $7.9 million to Pompano Beach investors that had bought it for $7.8 million in 2004. The real estate investment trust owns about 300 properties, including several in Florida.
The CVS Pharmacy at 101 S. Ridgewood Ave. in Daytona Beach was sold by a Coral Gables investor to Paul S. Phillos LLC for $3.65 million. The Coral Gables investor had bought it under the name CVTONA LLC for $3.05 million in 2011.
It's not just real estate that's selling, though. Fenner Advanced Sealing Technologies, a Houston plastics and elastomeric components maker, acquired American Industrial Plastics, 724 Fentress Blvd., Daytona Beach. Fenner Advanced Sealing, a subsidiary of U.K.-based Fenner PLC, valued AIP at $3.8 million. AIP develops precision machined products for the oil and gas, industrial and medical markets.
But the most surprising deal was by Syrian investors who bought the incomplete church at Madeline Avenue and Williamson Boulevard for $427,800. I wasn't able to find out anything more this week, but I'll keep a close eye on this one.
There were also some smaller deals, but all-in-all it shows that investors and businesses continue to have a lot of interest in the Volusia County market.
Initial claims for unemployment compensation were at 1,944 in July, down 19.5 percent from 2,416 in July 2011. Fewer workers are going on the unemployment rolls, but it's still not at a level that shows employment is growing strongly. The indication of strong job growth will come when claims drop closer to about 1,000 a month.
Spanos Imports continues to grow, expanding its service department to be able to handle just about any type of auto. The auto dealer, at 520 W. International Speedway Blvd., Daytona Beach, which specializes in used luxury vehicles, now has 41 employees. Spanos offers free insurance estimates and does complete interior and exterior body repair.
Some doubly good news is happening on the industrial front. Conelec of Florida has started work on revamping a building at DeLand Crossings to move its electronics manufacturing operation there from Stanford. Conelec acquired the building earlier this year after Intellitec lost the property in foreclosure.
Conelec is expected to have about 120 workers in the building at Interstate 4 and State Road 44 by the end of this year. But Intellitec isn't going far. It is moving to the former beer distributorship property at 1290 E. International Speedway Blvd. in DeLand where it will have about 40 employees.
On the restaurant beat, the news wasn't too good recently. Star Buffet Inc. of Scottsdale, Ariz., has closed the Holiday House restaurant in Ormond Beach. Star, which operates a variety of restaurants across the country, has struggled and is reorganizing under bankruptcy protection. Krystal is putting on hold plans for a new place in DeLand. It has acquired the property, but withdrew a request to the city for annexation, rezoning and land-use change.
It's official now on Jimmy Johns opening in Ormond Beach, though. The commercial real estate team of Ron Frederick and Buddy Budiansky of Prudential Commercial Real Estate in Daytona Beach recently sold the property at the corner of Perrott Drive and Granada Boulevard to Triebel Family Enterprises. This will be the fourth store for owners Brent and Dawn Triebel, who operate Jimmy Johns in the area with their son, Cort, daughter, Brooke, and son-in-law, Jason. The Triebels bought the 1.05 acre for $255,000 from LSM Holding, which was represented by Roy Akins of Adams Cameron & Co. The Triebels will be tearing down an existing 1,000-square-foot building and replacing it with a 3,000-square-foot restaurant/retail building. The restaurant is slated to open in November.
One last note, Roar Motorcycles, which specializes in motorcycles and accessories for women, has moved to 420 N. Beach St. in Daytona Beach. While it was by itself as far as motorcycle-related businesses go on Bellevue Avenue, it is now in the middle of motorcycle central on Beach Street.
Cecil G. Brumley has been tracking Volusia County business news and trends for more than 15 years. He can be reached at Cecilbrumley@ymail.com or follow him on Twitter @cecilbrumley.