New riverfront apartments and Beach Street makeover teed up for Commission votes

DAYTONA BEACH — Need a reason to listen in on Wednesday night's City Commission meeting? Here are three that all involve Daytona Beach's downtown riverfront.

There's a rezoning request to allow construction of 300 new apartments and a 500-space parking garage overlooking the western bank of the Halifax River.

Commissioners are being asked to approve the final design of an $8 million revamp of north Beach Street that's planned to include a new landscaped median, wider sidewalks, lighting and landscape improvements, and reduced traffic lanes.

Commissioners are getting an update on the $59 million renovation of the Windsor and Maley public housing apartments on Beach Street south of Orange Avenue.

Want more details? Read on.

Downtown Daytona apartment project

City commissioners will take their final vote on a rezoning that, if approved, will allow a project to move forward and bring a new apartment complex to Daytona Beach's downtown riverfront. It would be the first new largescale housing venture in the downtown in decades.

The rezoning request is to change the land use of a 3.5-acre property on the southwest corner of Beach Street and Michigan Avenue from Redevelopment Downtown–Riverfront Mixed Use to Planned Development-Redevelopment to allow the construction of a multifamily residential complex.

Read more about proposed Daytona riverfront apartments:Downtown Daytona Beach apartment project gets $7.5 million tax break

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City commissioners have already given preliminary approval to the rezoning. On Dec. 15, commissioners also unanimously agreed to give a Tampa developer a $7.5 million property tax break on the planned apartment complex on north Beach Street.

Without the tax break, the Framework Group would have walked away from its plans to build 300 apartments and a 500-space parking garage on the blighted block just north of the new Brown & Brown office tower overlooking the west bank of the Halifax River.

The Framework Group hopes to build a six-story apartment building and seven-story parking garage. The company hopes to have the building overlooking the river and Riverfront Park ready for its first tenants by the spring of 2023.

The design commissioners will vote on Wednesday shows angled parking on the east side of Beach Street between Mary McLeod Bethune Boulevard and Michigan Avenue. The design also suggests leaving angled parking on the west side of Beach Street between Bay Street and Mary McLeod Bethune Boulevard.

Late last year, commissioners discussed the idea of building a roundabout at Fairview Avenue and Beach Street. But the roundabout is not included in the latest design proposal. City staff members say it might be considered as part of a separate road project involving the Beach Street corridor from Fairview Avenue up to the northern city limit.

At the beginning of January, city commissioners also decided they want to reduce Beach Street traffic lanes from four to two, widen sidewalks and add benches.

On the eastern end of Mary McLeod Bethune Boulevard between Ridgewood Avenue and Beach Street, commissioners want to widen sidewalks to 11 feet and add new trees.

New riverfront apartments and Beach Street makeover teed up for Commission votes

With no median and angled parking on both sides of the road, there could have been 255 parking spaces on that northern stretch of Beach Street. With the median, the number of spaces drops to 170.

The total cost of the north Beach Street and Mary McLeod Bethune Boulevard project will be about $8 million.

City staff members have been trying to line up the $8 million. It's hoped about $2 million or $3 million can come from the state government.

Construction will take about 12-18 months to complete, and it's hoped the Beach Street changes could be in place by the summer or fall of 2024.

The work will include rebuilding the Beach Street roadbed, and upgrading irrigation and utility systems. That will include installing new water lines, and moving overhead power lines on Mary McLeod Bethune Boulevard underground.

There could be new traffic signals added at Bay, Mary McLeod Bethune Boulevard and Fairview, and each could cost around $600,000.

The north riverfront corridor project is the second phase of Beach Street roadwork that began with the segment between Orange Avenue and Bay Street that was completed a little over a year ago. That work reduced the four traffic lanes in that part of the road to two, created wider sidewalks, expanded the number of parking spaces, improved pedestrian crossings with new colored brick pavers and added new trees.

Windsor and Maley getting makeovers

Charles Woodyard, CEO of the Daytona Beach Housing Authority, will update commissioners on the $59.25 million renovation of the Windsor and Maley apartment towers overlooking the west bank of the Halifax River.

Planned improvements to the 150 Windsor apartments and 148 Maley living units include kitchen and bathroom updates; plumbing and appliance replacements; building system and elevator upgrades; new flooring, doors and lighting; meeting and exercise room renovations; flooding abatement and community space modernization.

"This will be like they're moving into a brand new apartment," Terril Bates, former CEO of the Daytona Beach Housing Authority, said last year.

Work is expected to be complete by the end of May in 2024.

The 50-year-old public housing apartments a few blocks south of Orange Avenue are for low-income residents who can live there for as little as $260 per month. Many residents are older and have health struggles, and could never afford market rate rent.

The Windsor and Maley are dedicated to residents of very limited means, and their rent is based on their income. To live there, residents must be at least 62 years old, or have physical limitations.

For many residents, it becomes a low-income retirement home they stay in for the rest of their lives. Tenants often wind up making it their home for decades.

Some of them are leery about having to temporarily move into empty apartments in the buildings while their units are being worked on. But they've been reassured no one is getting kicked out, and in about two years they'll all be settled into modernized, renovated apartments for the same affordable rents that include electric and water.

The developer on the project is BGC Advantage, DNA Workshop is the architect, and Sauer, Inc., is the general contractor.

A limited liability corporation has been set up for BGC and the Housing Authority to partner on the housing venture.

While BGC has become part of the Windsor and Maley ownership structure, it will not become the sole owner of the apartments. The Housing Authority will lease the property to BGC, and the agreement prevents BGC or any other private company from taking over for at least 30 years, Bates has said.

BGC was brought into the Housing Authority projects largely to help with financing. The newly formed LLC has been able to apply for various types of debt, equity, grants and other available resources, Bates said.

The Windsor and Maley renovation will be paid for with a variety of funding sources including bonds, tax credits, equity investors and a loan.

The city is not incurring any risk or debt, or contributing financially to the project. The City Commission had to OK $58 million in bonds in 2020 only because the city created the Housing Authority in 1938, and it’s technically an instrument of the city, with its board appointed by city commissioners.

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