I get a lot of strange surveys and polls covering everything under the sun, but one that recently caught my attention was “Florida property buyers prepared to buy former meth labs (at a 44% discount).”

So what enterprising real estate firm came up with this survey? It wasn't. It was Rehabs.com, a website of Recovery Brands LLC, a subsidiary of American Addiction Centers Inc.

“Record prices with low inventory means buyers are becoming more desperate to secure a home, with many foregoing their previous ‘red lines’ in order to secure a deal, a news release about the Rehabs.com survey stated. “However . . . there appears to be one type of property that few potential buyers are unwilling to compromise on: former drug houses.”

The survey of 3,300 people found property buyers in Florida would expect a 44% discount to buy a property that was used for a meth lab, or about $93,863 based on average property prices in Florida.

Of course, more than half of the people surveyed wouldn't buy a former drug house, and for good reason.

“It is an extremely potent drug which contains harmful chemicals such as acids, bases, metals, organic chemicals and chemical salts. Even the slightest amount of exposure can lead to headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting and breathing difficulties. The combination of chemicals used during the production of clandestine methamphetamine can permeate a structure’s walls, ceilings, air ducts and carpeting,” the news release states.

Surprisingly Florida ranks rather low on the meth lab problem these days, I would guess it's because of stepped up law enforcement. According to a Drug Enforcement Agency database, Florida had two meth lab busts in 2020 and none in 2019. Before then there were a lot and Volusia was averaging about two to three a year.

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I'm on a short week, but there didn't seem to be as much commercial real estate activity. Landsea Homes of Newport Beach, Calif., bought a section of unbuilt Halifax Plantation land in Ormond Beach for $1.5 million. A residential developer paid $1.25 million for land for Harbor Landing in Port Orange with 10 single-family houses and 16 townhouses. Parks Dermatology partners bought the office they use at 451 Lakebridge Drive in Ormond Beach for $605,000. Boardwalk at Daytona Development bought the restaurant building at 1010 Main St. in Daytona Beach for $330,000.

***

Some construction starts to note included vertical construction starting on Ford's Garage restaurant at Tomoka Town Center in Daytona Beach. Vertical construction starting on The Gallery, a senior living and care center at 6241 S. Williamson Blvd. in Port Orange. Demolition coming soon to the vacant buildings at 128 S. Atlantic Ave. in Daytona Beach, which will be replaced with one retail building.

***

On a final note, as builders look for every project they can get, Southern Impression Homes of Jacksonville plans to complete a previously permitted 16-unit townhouse development at 471 Third St. in Holly Hill.

Managing Editor Cecil G. Brumley has been tracking business and the economy in Volusia County for more than 24 years. Contact him at cbrumley@hometownnewsol.com (no hyphens) or follow him on Twitter @cecilbrumley.

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