I’ve been trying to compile a list of apartment plans in Volusia County, not an easy thing to do because there are so many of them.

So far, in my list, as of Jan. 1, 2018, about 1,104 units have opened, 1,341 units are under construction and another 2,991 are on the drawing board.

You can find the list (Apartments Aplenty) adjacent to my column and as you can see, it is way top heavy with market rate and luxury apartments with only one affordable complex in Daytona Beach, one seniors complex in DeLand, and possibly two college housing complexes in Daytona Beach.

It makes you wonder: Who is going to live in all the apartments and who is going to build them?

The population of Volusia County has been growing, but not at that great a rate. The 2019 estimate has it at 547,538 in 2018, up 1.74% from 538,180 in 2017. It has been growing in the 1% to 2% range for the past 10 years.

When you look at the U.S. Census Bureau numbers, the multi-family market is in sync with the slow population growth with building permits issued for 496 units in 2016, 70 in 2017, 344 in 2018 and 86 in the first six months of 2019. However, those numbers are for Volusia and Flagler counties, and the Census Bureau for some reason doesn’t require all government entities to report the number of building permits issued. All you have to do is look at my list to know the Census Bureau numbers are a little squirrelly.

Then there’s the other question, who is going to build all the apartments. Construction employment is up 1,200 jobs in the Volusia/Flagler area as of June. But then so are other areas including the behemoth Orlando metro area with 5,200 more jobs since last year.

We need to import some folks who know how to swing a hammer or, more likely, to operate a nail gun. Maybe run help wanted ads in states with high unemployment, a good idea for the Volusia Building Industry Association.

So, anyway, we know the apartments that have been built and those under construction, I guess it will be interesting to watch whether all the ones on the drawing board are completed.

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Speaking of apartments, a Tampa and Tacoma, Wash., partnership has bought the Daytona Gardens Apartments between Jean Street and Nova Road in Daytona Beach for $13.5 million. The partnership has already begun renovating the units.

In other large real estate transactions, a partnership group in Seminole and Volusia counties has bought a large commercial lot at 2824 Enterprise Road in Orange City for $1.025 million. The Lighthouse Inn at 1227 N Atlantic Ave., Daytona Beach, has sold for $665,000. Fantasy Island LLC of Daytona Beach has bought a property at 520 S. Atlantic Ave. Ormond Beach from 7-Eleven for $300,000. Yes, I know it’s weird to see a 7-Eleven close these days, but apparently the building suffered heavy hurricane damage.

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On a final note, some restaurant news. An unnamed restaurant is planned for the former Bank of American site at Longwood Drive and S.R. A1A in front of Ormond Mall in Ormond-by-the-Sea. Something you don't see too often these days, a new McDonald's going up. Construction getting started at 2800 Halifax Crossings Blvd., near Howland Boulevard, Deltona, or did I just say that about a Burger King in that area.

Managing Editor Cecil G. Brumley has been tracking business and the economy in Volusia County for more than 22 years. Contact him at cbrumley@hometownnewsmediagroup.com (no hyphen) or follow him on Twitter @cecilbrumley.

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