BY JAMES HARPER
Seven parcels of land on Whitehall Street. Four lots on Wallace Street. Seven lots on Cedar Street. Three on South Street. Three on Fulton Street.
These are just some of the 53 parcels of city-owned land in Midtown that city officials want to put on the market, with some lots selling for as low $1,951 – most not selling for more than $9,000.
“It’s a fire sale,” noted one Midtown property owner who remembered when the city was acquiring the land using Community Redevelopment Area (CRA) funds and is now worried that the money made from the sale of the land in Midtown would not be reinvested back into the community.
Daytona Beach Mayor Derrick Henry, who was scheduled this week to vote on whether the city will implement a plan to sell the properties, told the Daytona Times that if land was purchased with CRA funds, it should go back to the same CRA.
There are worries that the money made from the sale of the lots will go into the city’s general fund, which may not have a direct impact on improving Midtown.
“I don’t want revenue to go to the general fund if it came from CRA,” said Henry.
Henry said he realizes how difficult it is to get anyone to come into Midtown to build and invest.
He is willing to support selling the properties at record low prices back to the public, which will at least mean some funds coming back into city and CRA coffers from property taxes. The hope is that the new property owner will build something – a business or a home – on the property.
According to a memo obtained by the Daytona Times, the Volusia County Property Appraiser’s office noted the total 2012 assessed value of all the land the city wants to sell to the public is $2,110,248.
The Times has learned this assessed value does not take into consideration what the city originally paid to purchase the properties, which is far more than what the city is selling the property to whomever wants to purchase the lots.
According to a memo from Redevelopment Director Reed Berger to Daytona Beach City Manager James Chisholm, they want the city officials to approve a resolution that “allows the CRA and City to consider sale (of 56 parcels of land) for far less than fair market value.”
Daytona Beach commissioners are scheduled to be asked this week by Berger to approve “a resolution approving a strategy to offer certain city owned parcels of real property located within the Downtown, Main Street, and Midtown Community Redevelopment areas for sale and to permit staff to proceed with implementation of the strategy.”
Can’t build on some
Only two properties on the list are from the Main Street area and one from downtown, which means most on “the list of properties proposed to be declared surplus” are from Midtown.
Eight lots up for sale, according to Berger’s memo to Chisholm, are “not buildable (and) should be offered to the adjacent property owners for purchase.
Thirty-eight of the lots are residential and suitable to be redeveloped in accordance with the respective Community Redevelopment Area master plans.
The memo also said four lots are not buildable but can be combined together and sold as buildable lots.
Three lots are commercial to Midtown and suitable to be redeveloped in accordance to Midtown Redevelopment Plan.
DBPD building on list
Also on the list is the former Daytona Beach Police Department building at 990 Orange Ave.
Berger said it is included so that a separate request for proposal can be issued to put the property on the market.
“With the commission’s approval, staff will begin implementation of the strategy including solicitation proposals appropriate for each category,” wrote Berger.
The Daytona Times also learned that “The Redevelopment Agency is authorized to transfer ownership, or any other interest in any real property acquired by sale, lease, exchange or any other legal means. The transfer of real property or interest therein may be to any private or public entity for development, redevelopment or use in accordance with the Redevelopment Plan. The purchasers or lessees and their successors and assigns shall be obligated to devote such real property only to the uses specified in the Redevelopment Plan.”