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Ormond Beach Observer Monday, May 3, 2021 4 months ago

2 letters: Submerged parcel owner responds to comments

Also, reader is hopeful 56 N. Beach St. church can be saved.
by: Guest Writer

Saving OBUC

Dear Editor:

Thank you so much for writing the article about the Ormond Beach Union Church. Remembering that OBUC was the first protestant church on the west side of the river and that her many years of preaching religion to the many old timers of our area paid off for our community. 

Sadly, many of the old timers have passed on now, so they cannot give thanks to those of us who are still here, enjoying the church's existence. Now, I only hope that the "powers that be" will read all the past history about OBUC and include it in whatever they decide to do to the church. The church would be great as a veteran museum in that area, instead of where that museum was moved to in Holly Hill, where few people even know of it.

Just think — since the city is allowing the MacDonald House to be refurbished and open to the public, how many people would love to see the church that John D. Rockefeller patronized while living in his home across the bridge, next to the MacDonald House. 

I believe these two historic buildings would certainly bring in the crowds. 

Both Commissioner Selby and some of his colleagues would be highly thought of if they were to reopen OBUC to the public. Much of OBUC's history I'd been given by the many parishioners to help "save their beloved church," in which many of them had grown up in and raised their families in it too. 

If the city were to see fit to open the church as a nice museum, it would be very generous to offer the many veterans in our area to display their outstanding memorabilia of veterans times gone by. 

Merri Churchill

Ormond Beach

Editor's note: While Rockefeller did not attend the current church structure at 56 N. Beach St., he did attend church in the old building.

No big waterfront restaurant

Dear Editor:

To further expand on published comments, we have floated (pun intended) a lot of ideas about a possible use for the parcel while sitting in the Cassen Park Rotary Gazebo looking out over our submerged parcel. One of them, perhaps after a sip of rum, was a replica of the “Real McCoy” rum runner taking folks out for a dinner cruise. My partners and I could be accused of being dreamers but have lived, raised families and operated our businesses in Ormond Beach for decades. We know one thing for sure: Cassen Park is a treasure. A big waterfront restaurant is not in the picture. Calm down.

I’m a native of St. Petersburg where the downtown pier is an icon known worldwide. We’ve been fortunate to have visionary private investment in our downtown district. Ormond Beach has made an investment in public docks. Our “Ormond Landing” makes sense with whatever uses are deemed
compatible to complement the City’s efforts to draw boaters and visitors to Main Street and the waterfront.

I did inquire soon after buying the property about the status of the bait shop lease. Thinking at some point in the future it would make sense to move the bait shop and restrooms to a pier and offer limited food service. This would provide more upland area for boat trailer parking.

The state charges rent to individuals as well as municipalities to build docks, piers and marinas over submerged land. This parcel is privately owned and has been offered for lease at $900 per month which is supported by the rates other pier operators pay to the state for submerged land leases. The property is not listed for sale.

As far as the city buying it: my reply is “make us an offer." Nobody is getting rich here. But it does have value. I can testify to that and have in the course of my 40 year career appraising real estate including marinas, submerged parcels and waterfront properties throughout the state.

Jim Cooksey
Ormond Landing partner

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