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Volusia Business News: Like it or not, we have growth

Jun 09, 2023

As in many areas of Florida, we have a severe problem with cross purposes in Volusia County.

On the one hand you have the anti-growth folks, who don't want anything new. On the other are the folks who want new restaurants, stores, airline flights, recreational opportunities and more.

When it gets really confusing is when you have anti-growth people who want all the new stuff.

So, where are we at growth wise. The U.S. Census Bureau recently released population estimates for municipalities, which shows where the growth is happening in Volusia. The bureau already had released county estimates, which showed Volusia grew by 14,780 residents, or 2.62%, to 579,192 from July 2021 to July 2022. That's a lot of growth, but Volusia is a big county, so it's kind of spread out.

Daytona Beach had replaced DeLand as the fastest growing city in the county, but DeLand caught back up some in the latest report. Daytona grew by 3,521 residents, or 4.73%, to 77,958 while DeLand grew by 2,560 or 6.6% to 41,324.

Other cities showing significant growth were Deltona, up 1,475 or 1.54% to 97,257; New Smyrna Beach, up 999 or 3.21% to 32,119; Orange City, up 1,140 or 8.29% to 14,897; and Port Orange, up 1,384 or 2.18% to 64870.

The only city to lose population was Daytona Beach Shores at 5,182, down from 5,223 the year before.

So obviously there are some areas with enough growth that you can expect the new stuff, but not quite enough to get a lot of really good new stuff.

Instead of fine dining, we'll get more fast-food joints. The added flights will be largely low-fare ones.

We'll also have to continue to suffer with the dichotomy of Daytona, the area's obviously most well-known city and the one market researchers look at most closely. Daytona was able to attract a Trader Joe's distribution center because of relatively lower wages, but it can't attract a Trader Joe's store because of relatively lower wages.

Inevitably the area's attractiveness for the really good stuff will grow, especially when you have an institution like Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in your midst. The former pilots' school has transformed into a high-tech colossus, attracting and creating a lot of high-wage jobs. While the area may not have a drone manufacturing plant, it has a growing number of firms that are finding ways to make drones more useful in a lot of different applications. You can give ERAU credit for that and a lot of other higher wage job creation.

So, buck up you trendy buckaroos, there could be a Whole Foods in your future.


Commercial real estate activity finally picked up some. Some recent deals I noted include Winter Haven investors buying the new O'Reilly Auto Parts property at 1212 Providence Blvd. in Deltona for $2.444 million.

A Davie, FL, couple bought the industrial property with a van conversion plant, commercial vehicle sales and pool builder at 5797 Lake Winona Road in DeLeon Springs for $2.08 million.

Nashville-based Elmington Residential, a townhouse developer, bought an 8.53-acre site off W. Minnesota Avenue in Orange City for $1.45 million.

Halifax Health bought the medical office property at 353 N. Clyde Morris Blvd. in Daytona Beach for $1.15 million.

Some smaller deals were a Charleston, S.C., real estate development buying the commercial property at 103 N. Center St. (a former Family Dollar store on U.S. 17) in Pierson for $725,000. A Longwood investor bought the Cedar apartments at 401 S. Ridgewood Ave. in Daytona Beach for $725,000. Owners of Las Americas Grocery & Deli in Longwood bought the pool supply property at 1330 Howland Blvd. in Deltona for $574,500.


Not a lot else to report except plans were submitted to the city for a Mavis Tires & Brakes shop at Tymber Creek Village across from the entrance to Latitude Margaritaville in Daytona Beach. Spring Garden Townhomes are planned at 650 N. Spring Garden Ave. with 90 townhouses and a commercial site in DeLand.

Managing Editor Cecil G. Brumley has been tracking business and the economy in Volusia County for more than 26 years. Contact him at [email protected] (no hyphens) or follow him on Twitter @cecilbrumley.

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