California-based Legacy Partners is moving forward on plans to replace a section of Volusia Mall in Daytona Beach with a 350-unit, gated luxury apartment community.
The development company, along with its joint venture partner Griffin Capital Company, LLC, acquired 10 acres of mall property — including the site of the former Macy’s — for $10 million on Jan. 10, according to deed records.
The seller is an entity affiliated with Chattanooga-based CBL Properties, which has owned the entire 1.6 million-square-foot mall since 1998.
But Jon Wood, senior managing director for Legacy Partners, said his company actually contracted with a separate Chattanooga-based company, Urban Story Ventures, for the sale.
Urban Story Ventures has controlled the vacant Macy’s that’s now slated for demolition since 2020, according to a news release sent on behalf of all parties involved in the sale.
“This is an ideal location to develop much-needed and desired apartments,” Wood said in a statement following the sale. “We expect Legacy Daytona to lease up quickly as there is a dense mix of desirable retail, entertainment, and dining in the surrounding area to support the residents.”
Wood told GrowthSpotter he’s still working to get the final round of permits from the city and expects construction to start by this summer.
He doesn’t yet know what rent rates would be, but noted that they would be “at the higher end of the market.”
Designed by Zyscovich Architects, Legacy Daytona, as it will be called, would span 424,219 square feet and rise four stories.
According to site plans, the residential building with interior hallways would include 20 studio apartments, 192 one-bed, one-bath units, 118 two-bed, two-bath units and 20 three-bedroom, two-bath units. Units would range in size from a minimum of 615 square feet for a studio apartment to a minimum of 1,391 square feet for a 3-bedroom living space.
Two courtyard/ amenity areas surrounded on all sides by apartment units and a clubhouse will be built into the middle of the building where a heated saltwater pool, cabanas and an outdoor kitchen with a gas grill will go.
A 1,290-square-foot two-story sky lounge overlooking the two courtyards will be built on the top two levels, site plans show.
That sky lounge component “is going to be pretty cool,” Wood said in a phone call.
A game room with pool tables, poker tables, dartboards and more will occupy a section of the sky lounge, Wood said. Some of the space will be used to hold virtual reality games and bowling and golf simulators.
The mall apartments will feature a large internet cafe where residents can work from home and enjoy a coffee bar. The property will also feature a fitness center, yoga and spin studio, and a dog park and dog wash station. A walkway would connect a 545-space parking lot to the adjacent mall.
“We are very excited about this,” Wood said. “Daytona Beach has really come a long way in the past few years and it’s only getting better as more and more people move there, and it’s an affordable place to live relative to other places like Orlando and offers a great lifestyle.”
The site is located across from the Daytona Beach International Speedway, a short drive from its mixed-use entertainment site, One Daytona. It’s also a few miles from the beach and several college campuses, such as Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona State College and Bethune-Cookman University.
Volusia Mall includes more than 100 tenants, including J.C. Penny’s, three separate Dillard’s department stores — one for men, one for women and one for children — and an H&M clothing store. The Macy’s location at the mall shuttered in January of 2021, one of the 45 that the department store chain closed nationwide during that quarter. Macy’s had been a tenant at the mall since the 1980′s. It and a former Sears, which closed in 2019, currently sit vacant at the mall site.
CBL Properties owns and manages 95 properties totaling 59.6 million square feet across 24 states, including 57 high-quality enclosed malls, outlet centers, and lifestyle retail centers as well as more than 30 open-air centers and other assets.
After filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2020, the company has recently been working to redevelop several of its assets in order to add value.
“Over the last several years, we have invested in our properties to transform vacant anchor space, underutilized parking lots, and land parcels into new, exciting uses that add value to our properties,” Stephen Lebovitz, chief executive officer, said in a July 13 news release. “During the first half of 2022, we celebrated the addition of new-to-market dining, entertainment, and retail options in locations across our portfolio.”
He added, “As we look ahead, we see considerable opportunity to add hotels, multi-family, entertainment, medical, restaurants, and other new uses at CBL properties.”
Commercial real estate developer Urban Story Ventures, which has owned the former Macy’s at Volusia Mall since 2020, bought three other deserted Macy’s across the country around that time.
According to the Chattanooga Free Press, the company acquired abandoned Macy’s stores in Tennessee, Florida and Texas with plans to transform them into other uses.
Jimmy White, co-owner of Urban Story Ventures, told the newspaper then that many malls are in “great locations” and there’s already infrastructure such as roads in and around those centers.
“We’re able to piggyback off existing infrastructure,” he said in story published in Feb. of 2021. “There are excellent opportunities in some of the old malls.”
Following the sale of the Daytona Beach Macy’s, White said he’s “excited” to see it getting new life.
“We saw great potential when we purchased the vacant department store and surrounding area back in 2020 — before we had any insight on what the pandemic would do to malls across the country,” White said in a statement. “Legacy Partners is planning 350 multifamily units, and we’re excited for this area to be given new life and animated in such a positive way.”
Urban Story Ventures is known for purchasing value-add properties and developing them for their highest and best use, according to its website. The commercial real estate firm manages almost 3 million combined square feet of space — including office and medical buildings, retail, and industrial.
While the Daytona Beach location is being redeveloped by the new owner, Urban Story Ventures plans to be hands-on in the redevelopment of its former Macy’s property in Vero Beach, Florida, according to a news release.
Legacy Partners is a privately held real estate firm that owns, develops and manages multifamily communities throughout the United States. Since 1968, it has developed more than 66,000 apartment homes, according to its website.
Its Legacy Universal apartment community at 7420 Universal Blvd opened in 2021. Available units for rent range from $1,522 per month to $3,375 per month.