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Ormond Beach Observer Wednesday, Sep. 1, 2021 1 month ago

'Window of opportunity': Ormond beachside commercial real estate at a premium

The demand in commercial real estate has peaked in the second quarter of 2021, according to local real estate agents.
by: Jarleene Almenas Associate Editor

Local real estate agents are seeing an increased interest in Ormond's beachside, a sign that could bode well for the revitalization of the area. 

The demand in commercial real estate has peaked in the second quarter of 2021, though activity began to pick up at the end of 2020. The Quality Inn and Suites located at 295 S. Atlantic Ave. sold for $3.5 million (to become a Comfort Inn), and soon after that, the Chateu Mar Beach Resort (formerly a Howard Johnson) at 507 S. Atlantic Ave. sold for $3.1 million. 

Real estate agent John Haley, of Coldwell Banker Premier properties, specializes in the hospitality industry, and said he's seeing his prediction of more people and buyers coming into the area come to life.

“Hoteliers want two things: Water and tourism," Haley said. "Ormond Beach clearly supplies that.”

But it's not just new buyers; existing hoteliers are also seeking other properties, particularly oceanfront lots, which are far and few between. Haley said he has cash buyers with "huge interest" that simply can't find parcels.

One of the last parcels of vacant oceanfront land is that at 251 S. Atlantic Ave., which is located across the former Florida Hospital site. The land sold for $2.55 million in 2011, and while there have been no site plan submittals for a new hotel, Ormond Beach Planning Director Steven Spraker confirmed there have been "initial discussions" regarding the property.

The former hospital site, now also vacant after the building was demolished in 2018, was recently put under contract within a week of being on the market, according to Haley. 

Other commercial properties that have sold in Ormond-by-the-Sea 2021 include Betty's A1A cafe and the Ocean Crest Motel.

With very little vacant parcels available, what is available is being snapped up quickly, said John Adams president of Adams, Cameron and Co. That includes properties available for leasing, including those at the Ormond Mall in Ormond-by-the-Sea, where many of the spaces sat vacant for a long time. Realty Pros is currently marketing the spaces left inside the former Security First Building at 140 S. Atlantic, and that is quickly filling up. 

“In recent times, there’s so much more demand, and there’s an old saying that commercial real estate trails residential real estate," Adams said. "So whatever you see in residential is what you’re going to see in commercial short after that.”

Adams added that real estate agents are looking for people interested in listing their properties due to the increased demand. That bodes well for all residents, he explained. 

"We all like to be able to go down A1A and stop in and find a restaurant or a retail establishment, or something else along those lines," Adams said. "Everything is coming in new."

While Julian's was one of his favorite restaurants in Ormond Beach for many years, and he does love the history of Ormond Beach, some properties haven't stood up to the test of time. A new gift shop will replace the former restaurant. It's construction that will revitalize the area a bit, Adams sad.

Properties like the Fountain Square Village and the former Lucky's — soon to open as a new Publix — are among those that have undergone improvements in the recent times. 

Couple that with the area's lower prices compared to other beachside communities, and both Haley and Adams said buyers are seeing the opportunities present in Ormond Beach.

“There’s a window of opportunity now like I’ve never really seen before," Haley said. 

Ormond Beach has been undervalued "for years," said Adams, and people are seeing that the area also has good tourism, a steady consumer base and beautiful natural resources. 

“When you bring it all together, there’s a lot of opportunity there," Adams said.

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