Several construction projects are underway.
Empty, aging buildings. Broken or boarded-up windows. These things can be seen here and there along State Road A1A south of Granada Boulevard, a street that also has many flourishing businesses. Fortunately, several renovation projects are in the works.
Travelling north past Andy Romano Beachfront Park, the traveler passes a hotel being rebuilt at 711 S. Atlantic Ave. Ken Patel, who owns several other hotels in the area, is converting the Atlantic Cove to a Hilton Home 2 Suites with 92 rooms. He hopes to have a four-star rating.
Patel, who has been in the area 25 years, bought the Atlantic Cove two years ago. He had the contractors take the hotel down to the steel and concrete so new plumbing and wiring can easily be installed.
Continuing the tour north, you come upon a three-sided, roofless building at the corner of S.R. A1A and Florida Avenue. This is the remains of the Stacey’s Buffet building, which is being converted to a surf-style gift shop.
The property owner also plans to redo the façade of the Dollar Store and vacant Tourist Welcome Center next door, according to Steven Spraker, city planning director. The welcome center has a broken window and damaged porch roof.
Spraker said a permit has been pulled for all of the work, so the property owner is moving forward with the project. A call to the owner was not returned.
Next stop on the tour is a vacant building at the corner of S.R. A1A and River Beach Drive. Formerly a 7-Eleven, the building is completely boarded up. Records show it is still owned by the Southland Corp., which operates 7-Eleven. The building is for sale.
Leaving a building boarded up for an extended period and having broken windows are against Ormond Beach city code. When informed of the violations by the Observer, the Neighborhood Improvement Department reached out to the property owners to have the issues resolved.
North of Arlington Way, at 330 S. Atlantic Ave., the Burger King that served many whoppers through the years has been closed for a while, but it is currently being converted to a Flapjack Johnny’s. There is also a Flapjack Johnny’s on North U.S. 1 in Ormond Beach.
Just north of the old Burger King, you’ll see what’s left of Oceanside Hospital after meeting with the wrecking ball. AdventHealth, owners, say something will be built in its place, but have not announced plans.
Just north of Bosarvey Drive, you’ll find the once-popular Julian’s Restaurant at 88 S. Atlantic Ave. In its glory days, snowbirds and retirees formed lines out the door at dinner time. It’s now been empty for several years but was purchased in January, 2018, for $800,000 by 88 South Atlantic LLC. Plans by the new owner call for demolishing the restaurant, which now sports a few broken windows in back, and building a gift shop in its place. The coordinator for the project, Joseph Hopkins, said it is currently under site plan review, and the owner is eager to get started as soon as all approvals are received.