It’s a massive project. But it’s not some pie-in-the-sky sketch on an architect’s drawing table. It’s real.
Bayshore Capital of Toronto plans to build twin condo-hotel towers with up to 900 units at 801 S. Atlantic Ave. in Daytona Beach. Bayshore managing partner Andrew Brown is confident his company can get it done, despite the lack of financing that has plagued much of the economic recovery. “We have our own equity invested in it. We have other partners. We’re confident financing won’t be an issue,” said Brown in a telephone interview from his office in Toronto.
That doesn’t mean it will be easy, even in a city dying for this type of project. It is still early in the process. So far everything has gone smooth in the preliminary phases of working with the city, said Glenn Storch, a Daytona Beach land use attorney who is working with Bayshore. “You never can tell (what’s going to happen). But the city has done everything it should be doing to encourage this hotel,” Storch said.
It will take more than just the city government’s cooperation, Storch said, though. There are matters that area out of the city’s hands, such as beach access and impact fees that the county government will have to decide. The state also can be expected to have a say in the development.
There also is the matter of selling the condo-hotel units. Unlike a traditional hotel, the units will be sold to individual investors who can buy one or 50 and use them for themselves and to rent out to others through the hotel’s management. Jon Zolsky, who resells condo-hotel units through his Daytona Beach Condo Store, said there has been a surge in selling units lately, but it’s largely because an online auction company has been buying up blocks of them and unloading them at cheap prices. “It’s still a very, very soft market,” Zolsky said. How well Bayshore does at selling the units will depend a lot on what the units have in them and at what price they will be offered, he said.
As far as what the condo units will look like, it’s still early in the design process, said Ed Peck, who built Ocean Walk, the last big beachfront resort to go up in Daytona Beach, and the builder for Bayshore’s project. At this point, exactly how many units there will be hasn’t even been decided. The development has enough space for 900 units, but it probably will be somewhere between 700 and 900, Peck said. “The breakdown of the rooms hasn’t been completed.”
There will be one and two bedroom combinations, but the design criteria will decide whether each unit will have a kitchenette or even a full kitchen. But Peck has July 2013 on his calendar to break ground for the project and expects the first tower to be completed in 20 to 21 months – “if everything goes perfect.”
“The issue is … making sure we can continue to design a project that will fulfill all the needs of the developer and all the needs of the city,” he said.
But once the first tower is up, the second one won’t take as long, Peck said. The infrastructure for it will already be in place from building the first tower. By that time, another surge in condo buying may have arrived, Zolsky said. “Seeing how it will take two years from start to finish. By that time they may catch the wave. No one else is building anything right now.”
Bayshore does have experience selling condos in the area. The company bought the former Islamorado condo and renamed it the Opus. None of the 54 luxury condos had been sold when Bayshore acquired it in the fall of 2010. Since then, the company has sold more than half of them, despite the soft market and the high prices (more than $300,000) for the Opus units.
Like Zolsky, Brown thinks the down cycle in real estate will be over. “By the time we get this thing to market, we’re confident things will be turned around.” Now all he needs is a name for it.