The New Smyrna Beach City Commission has approved the $1.1 million sale of two city-owned properties in a move that promises to bring 50 new jobs and $73 million in economic development to the area.
The properties at 2650 and 2700 N. Dixie Freeway will be the new office for Coastal Claims, which has been operating in New Smyrna Beach since 2018. It provides public adjusting, estimating, loss mitigation, appraisal and supplementing services. It currently is at 419 Canal St. and employs about 50 people.
The commission approved the sale by unanimous vote June 22 at a Community Redevelopment Agency meeting. According to information presented at the meeting, Coastal Claims anticipates its move to the new buildings will allow it to add about 50 new jobs by the end of 2021. The jobs would include public adjusters, estimators, appraisers, and general office staff.
Analysis provided to New Smyrna Beach by the Volusia County Economic Development Department projects the economic growth sparked by the move will total more than $73 million. That number was determined by the IMPLAN assessment software system and includes a wide range of economic activity related to and prompted by the sale.
The two properties are used by the city’s Building, Planning and Engineering staff, but will no longer be needed after the opening of the new City Hall Annex at 214 Sams Ave. They were highlighted during a commission workshop Jan. 28 as among more than a dozen city-owned properties considered “most likely” candidates for sale.
Coastal Claims, the only business to make an offer on the property, provided the city with a “Conceptual Revitalization Plan and Vision” that committed to maintaining the property with “the current sense of pride and ownership in the building as it is being maintained today by the city.” The plan also noted Coastal intends to make arrangements within the facility for “gallery space for local artists to display artwork for sale” and space for the New Smyrna Beach Museum of History to store artifacts.
The plan cites two initiatives designed to reduce environmental impacts. The first involves buying two electric vehicles for company use and installing charging stations that would be available for public use. The second involves offering space onsite for Amazon locker service, which Coastal says “will reduce the amount of vehicle traffic in New Smyrna Beach by allowing customers to pick up their packages in lieu of the streets being trafficked by large delivery vehicles.”
The plan also highlights that by moving to the new space, Coastal Claims would be “freeing up more premium commercial space on Canal Street” in New Smyrna Beach and opening the door to retail companies that might generate “foot traffic beneficial to the other stores on the street.”
New Smyrna Beach announced the sale in its July “In The Loop” newsletter, which highlights economic development in the city. Other items noted in the newsletter included:
•The city anticipates construction completion by the end of July on a public parking lot that will add 17 spaces at Pettis Park, the Mary S. Harrell Black History Museum and Bethel Academy. The lot is at 611 Jefferson St.
•The NSB Housing Authority plans to begin work by the end of 2021 on a senior housing development to be known as “Greenlawn Manor” in the historic Westside neighborhood. Phase one of the $20 million project will involve the demolition and disposition of the existing Greenlawn Terrace at 600 Greenlawn St. and Enterprise Homes at 500 Brooks St. Once U.S. Housing and Urban Development approval and tenant protection vouchers have been obtained, existing tenants in those developments “will be relocated within an estimated 120 days.” Once completed, the project will provide about 80 “workforce/affordable” housing units.
•A large parcel on the west side of Sugarmill Drive at State Road 44 has been acquired by Advent Health. The city anticipates a new hospital complex will be developed on the property. One of four commercial lots being developed on the east side of Sugarmill Drive has been approved for a 7-Eleven gas station, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.
“In The Loop” is available at cityofnsb.com. The CRA/Economic Development office can be contacted at (386) 279-2497.