By Cecil G. Brumley
New residential construction continued to outpace last year in October, but just slightly.
There were 55 single-family houses started compared to 46 in October 2011. No multi-family units were started during the month compared to five last year.
Daytona Beach continued to pace the county with 14 starts compared to six last year. Port Orange dropped off in October at seven, but was still up from four last year. DeLand matched last year's total at 10 as did Ormond Beach at five. DeBary also had five starts, compared to two last year. New Smyrna Beach had three, the same as last year while the unincorporated area of the county had five, down from six last year.
For the first 10 months of the year, single-family construction is at 540, up sharply from 473 last year in Volusia, but multi-family, at 93, is down sharply from 496 last year. Based on weekly permit reports, November already is looking like it will far outpace last year when just 26 new homes were started.
While home building has been up showing modest improvement, retail sales continued on a hot pace in September in Volusia, according to the latest report from the state Department of Revenue. Taxable retail sales, which are audited and more reliable numbers, were up 9.4 percent at $472 million from $431 million in September 2011. Nearly all of the large categories, led by auto sales and general merchandise stores, were up except lodging, which was off slightly.
A large commercial construction project got started this month with Gator Investments remodeling the Kmart Plaza in Daytona Beach to add a 20,000-square-foot GFS Marketplace. Gator also is erecting a new building to house a Hibachi Buffet and Starbucks. GFS' Marketplace stores are somewhat unique in offering restaurant style products at retail.
New York-based Trustco Bank is planning its third Volusia office, which would mean putting up a new building at 115 N. Nova Road in Ormond Beach. Existing offices are on Clyde Morris Boulevard in Port Orange and Saxon Boulevard in Orange City.
There were a couple of big real estate deals recently. New York-based Elmnic LLC bought Space Coast Plaza, 1633 Taylor Road, Port Orange, for $2.575 million. Besides the credit union, tenants include Luigi's Pizza, Taylor Cleaners and Love's Whole Foods. A Flower Cottage, a long-time area florist, will move to the center soon, according to Ted Lightman and Sam Nasrallah of Charles Wayne Properties, which brokered the deal. In Deltona, Meadowdale Realty of Scottsdale, Ariz., bought the Walgreens property at 1925 Providence Blvd. for $2 million.
Consolidated-Tomoka Land Co. of Daytona Beach continued to add to its real estate portfolio, buying a Chase Bank ground lease in Chicago for $3.7 million. It now owns 28 properties in five states.
Associated Managing Editor Cecil G. Brumley has been tracking business in Volusia County for more than 15 years. Contact him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @cecilbrumley.