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Category archives for: Real Estate & Development

The End: Palm Coast’s Books-A-Million, Flagler’s Only General-Interest Bookstore, Is Closing

| March 27, 2014

Books-A-Million in Palm Coast on Wednesday announced an everything-must-go sale ahead of closure, ending the town’s very brief romance with a bookstore larger than an attic. The company lost money in 2013. There is no known replacement for the store, a mainstay of the Target shopping center.

First Look at Palm Coast’s New City Hall Revives Old Questions About Cost and Taxes

| March 12, 2014

The Palm Coast City Hall plan drew pointed questions about security measures and cost controls as the city administration continued to pledge through accounting sophistry that taxes will not be raised or that property tax dollars will not be used for the project.

Palm Coast Scrambles To Right Its Way After Discovery That Bulldog Drive Is a County Road

| March 5, 2014

Palm Coast has never owned Bulldog Drive, a county road since 1956, though the city is widening the street, has acquired land alongside it and has engaged in an epic battle with business owner Gus Ajram as if the right of way were Palm Coast’s. City and county are speeding toward formalizing the city’s ownership.

Ailing Palm Harbor Shopping Center Poised To Revitalize Itself as Bigger Island Walk

| February 14, 2014

The remaking of Palm Harbor shopping center as Island Walk, with more and bigger stores in the old but semi-vacant heart of Palm Coast, has broad support despite a few unanswered questions, among them the likelihood that the shopping center will have enough tenants to fill the new space.

Discount Tire Store Construction Near Panera Abruptly Halted; Palm Coast Says It Had Nothing To Do With It

| February 4, 2014

Discount Tire is not explaining why it decided to stop construction on its planned store next to Panera Bread on SR100. The decision startled the city, which insists it had nothing to do with it.

Palm Coast’s Ambitions for More Parks Soar, But Development Tax to Fund Them Declines

| December 11, 2013

Palm Coast’s park impact fees levied on new construction are about to decline by a few hundred dollars, though the city’s ambitious plans for new parks and recreational facilities over the next few decades are unchanged.

Palm Coast Unveils Design for a Spruced Up Community Center, With Premium on Visibility

| December 10, 2013

The Palm Coast Community Center on Clubhouse Drive and Palm Coast Parkway would potentially more than triple its current 5,800 square feet (to close to 20,000 square feet), and accommodate up to 200 people, starting with a $430,000 design in 2014 and first-phase construction in 2015.

Palm Coast Council Votes 5-0 For New City Hall in Town Center, With Move-In by End of 2015

| November 19, 2013

In the face of intense opposition, but also just as intense support, the Palm Coast City Council Tuesday said Yes to a new city hall. The 5-0 vote followed three hours of presentations, public comment and discussion before an overflow crowd at the Palm Coast Community Center, the largest crowd to turn up for any issue in recent memory.

The Time Will Come For a New Palm Coast City Hall. This Isn’t It.

| November 18, 2013

Landon and the council want their $9 million city hall the way petulant children want a new toy. But there’s a lot more arrogance than prudence in the city’s approach. So it’s pretty simple. If the city is convinced that this is a good thing for itself and for residents, just ask residents what they think. That’s a yes or no question all of us would welcome.

Burdens and Costs Pile Up for School Board’s Ex-ITT Building on Corporate Drive, Disrupting Community Education

| November 13, 2013

The board bought the 54,000 square-foot building for $3.5 million in 2001 and housed the Flagler Technical Institute’s community education classes and offices there, but the building must be evacuated either by January or by summer and either rebuilt and renovated at costs approaching $5 million or demolished even as the district continues to pay $445,000 in annual debt service on it.

Palm Coast Again Pitches New City Hall, No Referendum, as Chamber Orchestrates Support

| November 12, 2013

Palm Coast City Manager Jim Landon on Tuesday choreographed a presentation focused on a $9 million city hall in Town Center he said can be built mostly with existing dollars–and without a referendum–as the Flagler Chamber of Commerce and the Palm Coast Observer worked on a letter-writing campaign to sway council members, who may vote on the plan next week.

Fall Kills Roofer Roberto Martinez, 43, As He Worked on a New Plantation Bay House

| October 29, 2013

Flagler County had seen a deep lull in construction-related injuries and fatalities since the end of the housing boom in late 2006. But construction activity has picked up significantly this year. Roofers have the fourth-most dangerous job, going by fatality rates in the industry–after loggers, fishers and aircraft pilots and engineers.

Taking Competition Seriously, FPC Focuses Its Own Promotional Video on Economic Impact

| October 18, 2013

An eight-minute promotional and marketing video about Flagler Palm Coast High School, produced by students, reflects the intense competition even public schools now face to stay relevant, and is catching the eye of economic development officials, who see it as a means of broadening the county’s story and potential to prospective residents and businesses.

Sen. Dorothy Hukill Proposes Cutting Sales Tax on Commercial Rental Property to 5%

| September 19, 2013

Senate Finance and Tax Chairwoman Dorothy Hukill of Port Orange’s proposal could cut $250 million a year from state revenue. Business leaders want the tax, currently at 6%, eliminated altogether as Gov. Rick Scott travels the state on a tax-cutting tour.

Homes Sales and Inventory Decline a Bit in Flagler as Interest Rates Continue to Rise

| September 19, 2013

After July’s buoyant home-sale figures in Flagler County, which hit a post-recession high of 243 closed sales for the month, August’s numbers are somewhat less bubbly, but the trend remains solidly positive even as interest rates creep up.

County Rejects Roma Court for Sheriff’s Office as “Unworkable,” Citing 10 Issues

| August 28, 2013

County Administrator Craig Coffey ended the Roma Court option’s prospects with a 10-point memo listing a series of structural and logistical concerns about the 57,000 square-foot property on Palm Coast Parkway, about half of which would have been leased to the county for the sheriff’s uses in a 15-year arrangement.

Home Sales in Flagler Hit Post-Recession High as Time On Market Declines and Prices Rise

| August 21, 2013

Homes for sale in Flagler County have spent on average just 55 days on the market, also a post-recession low, while the median sale price of $155,000 in July in Flagler improved an impressive 7 percent on June’s median of $144,500, and 19.7 percent on the median price a year ago,

Court Injunction Sought to Stop Palm Coast’s Tree Removal Around Palm Harbor Center

| August 9, 2013

Calling Palm Coast’s tree removal illegal, resident Dennis McDonald filed an injunction in circuit court Thursday seeking to halt removals planned for road-widening and as part of a redevelopment of the Palm Harbor shopping center that may significantly alter the character of the area.

Cool to Sudden Roma Court Proposal, Flagler Sheriff Restates Preferences for Proximity

| August 8, 2013

Flagler County Sheriff Jim Manfre was surprised by an unexpected proposal from the owner of Roma Court, the chronically vacant strip mall on Palm Coast Parkway, to lease the building to the county for sheriff’s operations, and cited several factors that fall outside his preferred options.

Appraisals for Old Hospital Place Value at $1.5 Million as County Moves Toward Acquisition

| July 25, 2013

The county wants to buy the old hospital in Bunnell for $1.23 million and use it as an HQ for the sheriff. Two independent appraisers have placed the market value of the old 81-bed hospital at $1.5 million, and an engineering firm that surveyed the hulking 60,000 square-foot property found no overt issues with the building aside from asbestos. A private consortium bought the building for $750,000 in 2003.

Flagler Homes’ Median Sale Price Up 28% Over Last Year as Investors Keep Buying

| July 22, 2013

Sales closed on 200 single-family homes in June in Palm Coast and Flagler County, half those for cash as investors continue to buy homes. The median price of $144,500 is the best showing since February 2009. The median number of days those homes spent on the market was 71, an increase of eight days from last year.

Home-Flipping in Central Florida Fuels Bubble Fears

| June 17, 2013

The median price of existing-home sales in the core Orlando market has increased from $108,000 at the beginning of last year to $145,000 as of April. A review of 30 flips by a single seller shows a median buy price of $41,178 and resale price of $74,000 — after accounting for repairs and renovations.

How Bank of America Regularly Lied to Homeowners and Rewarded Foreclosures

| June 16, 2013

Bank of America employees regularly lied to homeowners seeking loan modifications, denied their applications for made-up reasons, and were rewarded for sending homeowners to foreclosure, according to sworn statements by former bank employees.

Dismissing Affordable Housing Prejudices, Palm Coast Approves Brookhaven Apartments

| May 21, 2013

The Palm Coast City Council Tuesday approved 4-1 the 45-acre, 117-unit Brookhaven apartments development in Town Center, which will provide housing to lower income residents and walkability to nearby areas.

Speculative Bust: How Widening Old Kings Road Left Palm Coast on Hook for $6.7 Million

| May 16, 2013

Palm Coast borrowed millions from its own utility fund to complete the Old Kings Road widening on the assumption that the economy would pick up and enable the city to re-finance with bonds. That never happened. Now the city is looking to recoup its money from property owners along the road, who’d agreed to a special taxing district but with optimistic assumptions of their own that never panned out.

Sheriff Opens Palm Coast Precinct at City Market Place, Halving Cost, Not Space Needs

| May 10, 2013

On Friday, the Sherif’s Office office opened its newest Palm Coast precinct, at City Market Place, a two-storefront 2,600-square foot space at $2,.000 a month that’ll add new life to the struggling shopping center in the heart of town, and a few doors down from the Palm Coast city offices.

County Is Negotiating Acquisition of Old Hospital in Bunnell for New Sheriff’s HQ

| April 25, 2013

Memorial Hospital Flagler’s dead years may be over if its current owners, who are politically well connected locally, can agree on a sales deal to Flagler County. The property is listed for sale at $1.75 million. It was acquired in 2006 for $750,000.

Citing “Mismanagement and Inaction,” Nelson Blames Scott for Ongoing Mortgage Mess

| March 27, 2013

Nelson said during a stop in Tallahassee that he has written the inspector general of the federal Troubled Assets Relief Fund, or TARP, to look into what he called “mismanagement and inaction by Florida officials” in administering a program called “Hardest Hit,” which was supposed to take federal money and help struggling homeowners.

Tidelands Condo Community Settlement May Underscore Turnaround for Palm Coast

| March 25, 2013

Two legal settlements at Tidelands on the Intracoastal and a turn-around in sales suggest that one of the hardest-hit condo and home communities in Palm Coast is experiencing renewed vigor, and may be emblematic of a larger real estate turnaround in Palm Coast and Flagler County.

Bullish on 2013: Palm Coast and Flagler Housing Markets in Full Recovery

| December 7, 2012

Have we returned to a normal market? No yet, writes Toby Tobin, but in a bullish analysis of Palm Coast’s and Flagler County’s current housing markets, he expects momentum to build into 2013, with all segments of the market are rising.

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