WATCH: Daytona’s Volusia Square Mall is about to get a makeover
Watch a video showing the Volusia Square shopping center in Daytona on August 14, 2021. Its new owners promise to invest in the modernization of the center built in the 1980s.
Clayton Park, The Daytona Beach News-Journal
DAYTONA BEACH – The sale of an aging and nearly empty mall on International Speedway Boulevard gives hope that the “world’s most famous beach front door” may have a much needed new life.
Two national commercial real estate companies have joined forces to pay $ 12.2 million for the Volusia Square shopping center at the southeast corner of International Speedway and Williamson boulevards. The sale closed on September 8, according to Kimberly Steele, a spokesperson for JLL Capital Markets, the real estate company that represented the seller.
“This is very good news,” said Maryam Ghyabi, president of the ISB Coalition, a citizens’ group involved in efforts to revitalize the east-west corridor of International Speedway Boulevard in Daytona Beach which runs from Interstate 95 to the ocean.
“This is exactly what we were hoping for: investors for (urban) infill properties,” she said.
“We don’t like to see shopping malls empty.” She added that it was highly likely that the new owners will make improvements to the 35-year-old Volusia Square so that it can become more attractive to potential tenants. “They wouldn’t pay a lot of money just to sit on it,” she said.
The Volusia Square purchase did not include the Home Depot home improvement store and the adjacent Speedway Indoor Karting, both owned separately. These two businesses represent approximately 14 of the mall’s total 36 acres.
The rest of the mall is now owned by the joint venture group of Lamar Companies, based in Fairfield, New Jersey, and Real Capital Solutions, based in Louisville, Colo.
Real Capital is the majority owner, but Lamar will be the operating partner in charge of managing, improving and leasing the available space in the center, confirmed Frank Maresca, senior vice president of acquisitions at Lamar.
Lamar Companies is not affiliated with Lamar Advertising, the company that owns most of the billboards in the region.
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“Well positioned in the Daytona Beach market”
Lamar is focused on buying quality shopping malls, which for many years was Volusia Square. It is only in recent years that it has started to lose tenants due to bankruptcies. or relocations, ”said Maresca. “We believe it is very well positioned in the Daytona Beach market with its prime location just off of highways 95 and 4.”
The joint venture partnership that now owns Volusia Square plans to invest more than $ 1 million in capital improvements, Maresca said. Planned upgrades include improvements to commercial buildings as well as a new monument sign along International Speedway Boulevard.
“We are already discussing a new entertainment concept that plans to occupy over 50,000 square feet,” he said, referring to the largest vacant storefront space in the center that previously housed Hobby Lobby.
The mysterious tenant, who is already identified on Lamar’s site map for Volusia Square as a “pending lease”, is believed to be new to the Daytona Beach area, Maresca said.
“We are also in discussions with a few restaurants, including one that is planning to take over the old Pier 1 Imports space. And Restaurant Depot is slated to open early next year in the old hhgregg space,” he said. .
Maresca described Restaurant Depot as a “Costco for restaurant supplies as well as food.”
On its website, Restaurant Depot promotes itself as a “wholesale cash and take out food service provider where you will find quality products at low prices.” We sell a wide selection of products for independent restaurants, caterers and non-profit organizations. “
Construction workers could be seen working inside the planned Restaurant Depot store on Tuesday.
The new owners of Volusia Square could also rename the mall, Maresca said. “We are evaluating whether we want to keep the name.”
Volusia Square currently has five tenants: Buffalo Wild Wings, Restaurant Depot, Arby’s, LensCrafters and Dollar Tree. It also has a temporary seasonal Halloween costume shop at the old Pier 1 Imports. Together, tenants make up less than a third of the centre’s more than 204,000 square feet of retail space.
“International Speedway Boulevard is the hub of the neighborhood, and Volusia Square, with its prime location just off Highways 95 and 4, will attract a lot of interest from tenants,” said Whitaker Leonhardt, senior manager of JLL. “I am delighted to see what Volusia Square 2.0 looks like.”
The mall dates from the mid-1980s
Volusia Square was built in 1986 at 2455 W. International Speedway Blvd., just half a mile east of the I-95 / International Speedway Boulevard interchange (exit 260).
In its heyday, the mall’s tenants included a movie theater as well as restaurants and shops. Some of its biggest tenants, including Hobby Lobby and TJ Maxx, have moved in recent years to the new Tomoka Town Center mall in the hot LPGA neighborhood of Daytona Beach. Other former mainstay tenants of Volusia Square have simply closed their doors, including consumer electronics / appliance store hhgregg and co-located Toys ‘R’ Us and Babies ‘R’ Us.
California developer Chad Hagle made headlines in 2019 when he put Volusia Square under a purchase contract while announcing ambitious plans to turn it into an aerospace-themed research and development park at the futuristic look that was to be called Space Square.
When Hagle’s planned project failed to attract aerospace-related tenants willing to sign leases, he ended up buying only the old Toys ‘R’ Us / Babies ‘R’ Us building that he subsequently rented a kart track to Speedway Indoor Karting operators.
Hagle’s option to buy the rest of Volusia Square eventually expired, freeing the center to be marketed to other potential buyers.
Lamar has already added Volusia Square to its portfolio of properties on its website. Real Capital Solutions had not yet done so on Tuesday.
The Volusia Square seller, according to the Volusia County Property Appraiser website, was an entity identified as “COLE MT Daytona Beach FL LLC,” a subsidiary of Vareit Inc, based in Phoenix, Arizona.
Cole Real Estate Investments, which Vareit acquired in 2014, paid $ 31 million to purchase Volusia Square in November 2010.
“I am trying to restore it to its former glory”
The mile-long stretch of International Speedway Boulevard between I-95 and the ocean is considered by the community and area business leaders to be “the gateway to the world’s most famous beach. “.
While progress has been made in recent years to beautify and improve the ISB, a number of aging malls along the corridor have seen an exodus of retailers to the fast-growing LPGA area of Daytona Beach, three miles south of the border. North.
The LPGA area is home to both Tanger Outlets, which opened in 2016, downtown Tomoka, which opened two years later, and two smaller malls, Latitude Landings and The Shoppes to Williamson Crossing.
Maresca said his company believes that Volusia Square has great potential to once again become a “dominant” shopping center for the region. “We are looking for distressed properties that we can take back and revitalize,” he said. “We are seeking to restore it (Volusia Square) to its former glory.”
It’s music to Ghyabi’s ears.
“I think we’re going to see a big move of retailers, restaurants and entertainment to ISB.” Said the Ormond Beach-based engineering and transportation consultant.