Orlando-based Avalon Park Group has signed a purchase agreement to develop over 2,500 acres in Daytona Beach for a new master-planned community that will likely exceed the size of its namesake community in Orange County.
“This property gives us a great canvas to create a place where people can find everything they need in every stage of their lives,” said Beat Kahli, CEO of Avalon Park Group and its Swiss sister company, sitEX. “When complete, Avalon Park Daytona will be a destination the city and the area will be proud of.”
He told GrowthSpotter the company has already begun the master planning process for the site, while CTLC finalizes the entitlements. He met yesterday with Daytona Beach officials to begin the discussions for a transportation network that will link directly to the Margaritaville-branded retirement community on its southern border.
Avalon Park Daytona will be designed using the company’s signature New Urbanist concepts, with thousands of homes and its own downtown city center. Kahli said he expects the build out period to extend beyond 10 years and eventually reach $2 billion in value.
Avalon Park Group began constructing its first master-planned community more than 20 years ago. The company is also currently developing Avalon Park-branded communities in Wesley Chapel, just north of Tampa, and in Tavares with the same design principals.
“We are long-term developers,” he said. “I’m still young enough to build another town.”
It was that long-term commitment, and strong financial standing, that led Consolidated Tomoka to approach Avalon, according to President and CEO John P. Albright. He told GrowthSpotter Avalon was recommended to him by a homebuilder because of its successful track record.
“There’s a demand for homesites from builders who need a developer to deliver a high quality community that will stand the test of time," Albright said. “They’re the perfect kind of developer to build something that’s more holistic and has a long-term view.”
The master plan will be unveiled in the first quarter of 2020, but Kahli said one thing is certain: that APG would commence construction on its town center during the first phase of construction. That includes its typical 4-story mixed-use buildings with multifamily and commercial upstairs and ground-floor retail.
“That’s our forte,” he said. “We build a town organically. We built Avalon Park Orlando from scratch where before it was just cows. Now we have 60,000 people and our own downtown. There’s not so many people who build entire towns and stick with it for 25 years."
Kahli said the Daytona site was attractive because it extends the company’s footprint further east along the I-4 corridor.
“We’re in Tampa, Orlando and now Daytona,” he said. “We’re excited that we now have that last piece of the puzzle. We believe it’s one of the most exciting economic corridors in the U.S. It gives us synergy because each site is far enough apart that they don’t cannibalize each other. ”
Kahli said he has invited Daytona Beach officials for a follow-up meeting at Avalon Park Orlando, so they can get a perspective of what the finished product will look like. Company executives and planners also will meet with Volusia County school officials to discuss planning for future school sites within the community.
“We want to invest in schools, no question,” he said. “I have 200 employees here in Avalon Park, and most of them moved here because of the schools. We will either do a partnership with the school board and offer them sites or do a charter school – or both – and hopefully even partner with a university."
Kahli said APG will lead the initial planning with its in-house staff but will seek local consultants for environmental and transportation planning.
Albright said he anticipates the land closing in early summer 2020. This is the second time this month Consolidated Tomoka has partnered with an Orlando developer. The company sold 31 acres near the I-95/LPGA Boulevard interchange to Unicorp National Development for $4.6 million.
“We’re excited that Chuck (Whittall) has bought the property,” Albright said. “He’s planning to do multifamily, which we’re greatly in need of. We’re excited to get his expertise.”