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Ormond Beach Observer Tuesday, Apr. 18, 2017 1 year ago

City approves $285,000 in incentives for Security First to kickstart Ormond Crossings

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Representatives of the insurance company say they hope to break ground in the fall.
by: Emily Blackwood News Editor

Ormond Crossings is one step closer to becoming a reality after the Ormond Beach City Commission approved a $285,000 economic incentive for Security First Managers on April 18. The Ormond Beach-based and family-owned insurance company agreed to use the funds to construct its second headquarters in Ormond Crossings, a planned residential, commercial and retail development on North U.S. 1. 

The new building will be located on 48 acres in Commerce Park, according to Economic Development Director Joe Mannarino, and the incentive program is performance-based, with SFM agreeing to create 285 new jobs at this location. That’s $1,000 per new job. 

"I’m excited that after talking about Ormond Crossings for 15 years that something is actually happening,” Commissioner Troy Kent said during the meeting. 

The development was originally proposed in 2002 as a planned business development for 3,000 acres. The footprint is a total of 6,000, but the 3,000 acres adjacent to it are in Flagler County and are being used as a wetland mitigation bank. Mannarino said the development is approved to have 2,950 housing units, 200,000 square feet of retail and commercial space, and 900,000 square feet of office space. 

With the aid of the city's growth assistance funding, SFM plans to lease a new 100,000-square-foot office building in 2019, at a construction value of approximately $25 million. Mannarino said the company wants to break ground this fall. 

"It's going to be a very modern building," he said. "It would begin to open up the roadway system, increase visibility for the rest of the park and make recruitment easier next time around."

Melissa Burt DeVriese, the chief administrative officer of SFM, and Lisa Ford Williams, a representative of Tomoka Holdings (which is the company developing Ormond Crossings), were present at the commission meeting and thanked the city for the help with the project. 

"Security First is the catalyst for things to really come to this location," Williams said. "It's a game changer for Volusia County and Ormond Beach residents." 

Commissioner Rick Boehm and Mayor Bill Partington both acknowledged former mayor and state representative Fred Costello, who was a driving force in starting the project in 2002. 

"It was a dream of his during his entire time on the commission," Boehm said. "He fought to have it happen. Like the rest of us, we’ve waited a long, long time for this moment to arrive."

As for when Ormond Crossing could really come to life, Mannarino said the future is still unclear. There has been no discussion about any more future projects Tomoka Holdings might have, but he — and the City Commission — say that this is a start. 

"It only takes a spark to get a fire going," Partington said. "This 100,000-square-foot building and retaining a local Ormond business run by a great family — I couldn’t think of a better combination." 

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