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Ormond Beach Observer Thursday, Jul. 12, 2018 6 days ago

'Working together': Key to improving the beachside is getting everyone on the same page

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Recommendations for beachside improvements were presented to the Daytona Beach Regional Chamber.
by: Jarleene Almenas News Editor

Though the Beachside Redevelopment Committee has been officially disbanded since April, its work has not yet concluded as former committee members continue to push for improvements in the beachside from Ormond Beach to Daytona Beach Shores. 

Past committee member and local businessman Frank Molnar presented the BRC's final recommendations to the Daytona Regional Chamber of Commerce at its Eggs and Issues breakfast meeting on Thursday, July 12. He outlined the top policy change priorities, which include increased code enforcement, provision of façade grants and enhanced policing. With beachside values down $677,429409 in Daytona Beach, according to a report by Volusia County Property Appraiser Larry Bartlett, Molnar said these changes would help to remedy that. 

"People who want to invest in our beachside community, they’re going to invest because they want to make money," Molnar said. "They want to be able to get a return, and as those numbers improve, we stand out as something that would be on their radar.”

He said by everyone working together — municipalities, county, chambers of commerce and local business entities — the improvements can be accomplished. 

With beachside values down $677,429409 in Daytona Beach, according to a report by Volusia County Property Appraiser Larry Bartlett, Molnar said these changes would help to remedy that. 

“I think, really, everybody wants the same thing, you know," Molnar said.

For the top three core focus areas, Molnar cast a spotlight on East International Speedway Boulevard, Main Street in Daytona Beach and the A1A corridor from Seabreeze Boulevard to Silver Beach. He mentioned possibly creating an arts district in Main Street, like Wynwood Walls in Miami.  

“At the end of the day, we have to create something in that area that’s going to give people a reason to go down there," Molnar said.

Past committee member Maryam Ghyabi said that there will be $25 million in Florida Department of Transportation funding to be implemented over the next five years to redesign East ISB. It's an example of what the area can get for other future improvements.

"What we ask for is what we get," Ghyabi said.

County Councilwoman Billie Wheeler called herself the "champion" for beachside redevelopment and said she is "on fire" to push forward with these projects. She said East ISB is at the top of her priority list as well and that as the county representative of the River to Sea Transportation Planning Organization board, she will be pushing for improvements in that area.

She said Daytona Beach has been stepping up recently with its purchase of properties on the corridor and that she has seen buildings be condemned and on the list to be demolished. In 10 years, Wheeler said she doesn't want to still be talking about improvements.

“We need the discussion now so we can start moving in whatever direction we’re going to go," Wheeler said. "I am blown away with excitement over this.”

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