As many of my regular column readers will remember, one thing I harp on quite often are the economics of opportunity.

A frequent theme in 2018 was how the hot Volusia County economy and growing population was creating a lot of business opportunities in all kinds of services. You can expect that trend to continue in 2019.

For example, OneDaytona will continue to build out in 2019 and construction just started on the apartment complex there. Add that to the multitude of apartments in that area and you have a lot of young people who enjoy working out. So, the Gold’s Gym folks in Ormond Beach decided to open a second one at the Shoppes at OneDaytona in the former Marshall’s store building.

That’s a big obvious one, but then the population and business growth also extends to small, less well-known areas. At Big Tree Plaza in South Daytona, Club Fitness is adding a juice bar. While that may not seem like much, for the owners of Club Fitness it’s a great way to improve their fitness center for their clients and to attract more clients.

There area a lot small, but important business developments every week in Volusia. The owner of Kenny's Liquors bought the former SunTrust Bank property at 111 North Causeway in New Smyrna Beach for $880,000. Kid City USA wants to open a daycare at 1890 State Road 44 in New Smyrna Beach.

But it also adds to big ones, such as developers having the confidence to build a luxury community on an island in the Halifax River. Site work is beginning for Grand Isle, a river island subdivision off Wilder Boulevard in Daytona Beach. Construction is starting on a new headquarters building for Costa del Mar sunglasses at 2450 Mason Ave. (corner of Dunn Avenue) in Daytona Beach. Plans are underway for a 2,640-square-foot commercial office building on Lot 18 of the Springview Center in DeBary.

Of course, it’s not all gravy and biscuits for the county, you’ll continue have some failures, such as the Sears closing at Volusia Mall and Pollo Tropical shutting down its shop on Dunlawton Avenue in Port Orange.

But, more often, we’ll see developments like the orthopedic surgeons who own the East Coast Surgery Center buying about five acres from Consolidated-Tomoka Land Co. for $935,000 to expand their medical campus on LPGA Boulevard, just east of Clyde Morris Boulevard in Daytona Beach.

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The hot housing market continued into November. Realtors in the Volusia/Flagler area sold 894 houses in November, up 9.8 percent from November 2017. The median price, where half sold for more and half less, was at $214,000, up 12.6 percent. Realtors sold 237 condos, up 11.8 percent, but the median price, at $195,000, was up just .9 percent.

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A couple of other commercial real estate deals to note include Harbor Oaks nursing home on Farmbrook Road, just off South Ridgewood Avenue in Port Orange selling for $2 million. A Ponte Vedra investor bought the former SunTrust Bank building at 2300 S. Atlantic Ave. in Daytona Beach Shores for $525,000.

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On a final note, the state’s minimum wage will be $8.46 an hour as of Tuesday, up from $8.25 an hour in 2018, according to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. It’s hard to imagine that many people getting paid minimum wage in Volusia, but it is good news for those who do.

Managing Editor Cecil G. Brumley has been tracking business and the economy in Volusia County for more than 21 years. Contact him at cbrumley@hometownnewsol.com (no hyphens) or follow him on Twitter @cecilbrumley.

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