Game on for the Russian hotel and condos in Daytona Beach – News – Daytona Beach News-Journal Online
The Protogroup project to build two towers of condos and hotels 300 feet high on the waterfront is expected to begin construction within a few months.
DAYTONA BEACH – After decades of one large waterfront project after another quietly collapsing and gloomy in the dark, the most expensive private development between the Halifax River and the Atlantic Ocean in the history of the city is about to emerge from the sand.
The Daytona Beach Convention Hotel & Condominiums, a $ 192 million project located at the eastern end of Oakridge Boulevard, is expected to obtain building permits in the coming weeks. Construction will begin shortly thereafter, city and company officials said.
In about four years, two 300+ foot towers stacked with 120 condos and 501 hotel rooms are going to change the city’s skyline and possibly change beliefs about what’s possible in Daytona Beach.
“It will be exciting for the beach,” said City Manager Jim Chisholm. “Economically it’s going to be great. It’s a great sign that people recognize Daytona Beach is good for investment. I think this community is pretty positive and excited about what’s going on.”
Some local residents had become jaded by years of failed projects that were billed as game changers that would make a difference on the beach. They were convinced that the Oakridge Boulevard project led by Russian company Protogroup would add to the pile of failed dreams that includes the seaside Hard Rock Hotel and Restaurant that went offline six months ago.
Skeptics were convinced that Protogroup’s new parking lot for the complex, which has taken shape over the past few months and is nearing completion, was the only new development they would see at the vacant 4.5-acre site just to the south. from Seabreeze Boulevard.
“We keep barking these trees and going down those rabbit holes,” said Paul Zimmerman, who has lived in Daytona Beach all his 67 years, before finding out that the revised building permit applications submitted on Dec. 27 will soon be approved. . “Eastern Volusia County has lost its amenities to attract people.”
After hearing that the shovels would soon hit the sand, Zimmerman said, “I hope it’s true. But seeing is believing.”
Protogroup insists it charges forward, attacking both the condos that will be built at the north end of the property next to the Plaza Resort & Spa, and the hotel that will be built at the south end. The site spans three corners of the intersection with the A1A national road.
“We need to fix some minor issues with the building permits, and I think we can get them back in four weeks,” said Alexey Lysich, vice president of Protogroup. “We will start building the two towers right after that. We plan to start selling condos right after foundation. We plan to complete the hotel tower in 30 months and the condo tower in a year after the hotel tower. “
Mike Garrett, the city’s permit and licensing manager, confirmed that “we just have a few maintenance issues.”
“In the next four weeks the permits will be issued,” Garrett said. “All of the heavy lifting has been done.”
An Atlanta-area contractor, WG Yates and Sons Construction Co., was hired for the job, Garrett said.
PLANS READY FOR REALITY
Protogroup is run by Lysich, his father and his brother. They live part of the year in the Palm Coast and the other part in Russia. Protogroup has a chain of six supermarkets in Russia as well as a hotel in Montenegro and four hotels in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Protogroup’s vision for its Daytona Beach property is to create a 1.1 million square foot resort with two oceanfront towers connected by a suspended walkway over the Oakridge Beach approach to maintain public access to sand.
The North Tower is expected to have 31 floors with 120 owner-occupied condo units and 42 hotel rooms. It will cover nearly 592,000 square feet and include nine levels of structured parking. Construction is expected to cost $ 95 million and take four years, according to the building permit.
The south tower will have 27 floors and will contain 459 hotel rooms. It will have an area of 540,759 square feet and will cost $ 90 million. Construction will begin on the south tower first, and is estimated to last 30 months.
Plans also call for 7,500 square feet of retail space in street-level stores overlooking State Road A1A, a 7,000-square-foot hotel-restaurant and 18,000 square feet of ballroom and d meeting space.
Across the street, on the west side of the A1A, is the nearly completed five-story, 517-space parking lot. The concrete block structure built by Commercial Construction Inc. of Daytona Beach is already in place and most of it has been painted white.
Protogroup purchased the property in March 2012 for $ 6.3 million. The site is on a portion of the beach that does not allow vehicular traffic, a plus for investors and an advantage that the Hard Rock site south of International Speedway Boulevard did not have.
On the northern half of the property was the 1950s SeaSide Inn Motel, which had remained empty and wrapped in a chain link fence until it was demolished in 2014. The southern half of the property, once covered with hotels, is also vacant now, with the exception of the two-story Sea Dunes Motel which has been owned by a local family since 1960. The plans show the towering condo hotel buildings surrounding the tiny Sea Dunes, which stand near the waterfront. the A1A.
The project could mean a new chapter for the Sea Dunes, said local lawyer Michael Kundid, who co-owns the motel with his sister, Paulita.
“The Sea Dunes has been continuously operated by our family for the past 57 years,” said Kundid. “We are in discussions with planners and engineers about using our premises and existing structures for a new business to serve the thousands of people who will stay or live in the new project. We see this as a great opportunity to grow with our beloved community. “
The Protogroup project came to a halt when funding ran into trouble and the east side of the property turned into a dusty and barren expanse encircled by rickety wooden fences that were ripped apart and toppled by Hurricane Matthew and other storms.
The original plan was due to be open by fall 2015. But in late 2015, Protogroup officials asked city and county leaders for extensions that could delay completion of development until the end of 2015. the year 2021.
Protogroup got a letter of intent to partner with Preferred Hotels & Resorts, but Protogroup officials said they couldn’t sign a deal until they got building permits and construction had not started.
An agreement between Protogroup and the city negotiated in early 2013 will allow Protogroup to be reimbursed for part of its impact costs and to receive part of the city’s money because part of the site is located in a redevelopment area.
The enormity of the project will require increasing water and sewer lines from State Road A1A to Peninsula Drive. Protogroup agreed to increase the size of the pipelines beyond what it needed for the project so that the entire area had the capacity to expand further in the future. When this work is completed, the City will reimburse Protogroup for its costs using the impact fees paid by the company.
The project site straddles a beach approach which will be improved and will remain open to the public. The estimated cost to install decorative lights, pavers, landscaping, signage, a small fountain and stormwater infrastructure is around $ 450,000, according to city records. The city will reimburse Protogroup about $ 90,000 per year over five years for the work, according to records.
KEEP THE FAITH
City commissioner Rob Gilliland never gave up hope and believed the project would be back on track once credit institutions again felt more comfortable with large loans.
“The Russians have a lot of experience,” said Gilliland. “They have a number of properties that they’ve been successful with, and it’s not by making rash decisions. They’re the ones that I thought had the most likely path to construction.”
With the condominium hotel’s site a five-minute walk from the Volusia County Ocean Center, hopes are high for what the new hotel could do to host large conventions and spur new restaurants and stores to open. near.
Former mayor Glenn Ritchey, who participated in the first talks with Protogroup in 2012, sees good things to come. Ritchey has said he would like to watch Daytona Beach’s 25-year dry spell with construction of a new hotel come to an end.
“It’s great to see this finally happen,” said Ritchey, who owns a riverside house by the beach. “It looks like it has the potential to be something really great. I’m just really excited that it’s a pivot and encouragement for further developments on the beach. That’s great news.”
Mike Denis, a lifelong beachside resident, felt confident in the project once the parking garage started to move up.
“The parking garage was a level of commitment for me that we hadn’t seen for these other projects,” said Denis, president of the South Atlantic Neighborhood Association. “I can’t wait to finally have something to build.”
New city commissioner Aaron Delgado, whose home and law firm is right by the beach, said it was “awesome” and “exciting.”
“I’m happy to see progress,” Delgado said. “I hope we will see a ripple effect.”
The current mayor, Derrick Henry, is relieved to see that the project has come out unscathed after going through a difficult economy.
“It’s a home run without a doubt,” said Henry.