More than 15 years after a series of damaging hurricanes hit the city of Daytona Beach Shores, the Treasure Island Resort still remains fenced off, in poor condition and abandoned.
The many promises of returning it to its original splendor have not been kept by any of its owners/developers. The City of Daytona Beach Shores hopes recent legal developments will pave the way for more timely renovations and, ultimately, a new quality resort.
Now in foreclosure, the 11-story former hotel’s most recent owner is the Canadian developer, Jaymor Group under the entity TI Project LP. Lender Ackers Financial, is one of the litigants.
“We transferred a permit to (Peck & Associates Construction) in February 2019, but it expired six months later,” explained Fred Hiatt, director of Daytona Beach Shores community services department. Foreclosure papers were filed Dec. 6 after payments defaulted earlier in 2019. The official foreclosure date was Jan. 3.
Inactivity and negligence have left the building and building site in disrepair and the owner in violation of a number of building code violations that must be corrected by deadlines set forth by a code enforcement special magistrate. The first physical violation that must be corrected by Feb. 14 is two uncovered, unprotected pools on the property. The non-physical violation that also must be corrected within the same timeframe is the permit violation. In this case, the owner walked away from the construction permits and let them expire, code enforcement officials said.
Also due by Feb. 14, and ordered by the magistrate, is a signed and sealed assessment performed and submitted by a licensed structural engineer regarding the overall safety and structural soundness of the building and building site.
According to Gwyn Herstein, DBS code enforcement coordinator, things like handrails, posts and platforms must be put in place, things that allow it to be safe enough for someone to come and work on the site. Before these actions are executed, a detailed report within the engineering assessment must be provided.
Other physical violations must be corrected by March 2, including overgrown weeds, peeling paint, building and seawall structural flaws, stacked building materials, outdoor storage, graffiti and an abandoned trailer. All these eyesores create an uncared for appearance and an attractive nuisance, the code enforcement order summarizes. The owner of record is responsible for paying for these mandates, but right now the lender will be paying for this out of their pocket. “That doesn’t mean that ultimately the lender will bear all of those costs. They will try to recoup those expenses from Jaymor, but that’s not always possible,” Ms. Herstein said.
She further explained a receiver, Chris Neilson of Trigild Inc., was assigned to the foreclosure case in mid December, who will be overseeing the operations regarding the code violations and future construction.
“(The lender) wanted their assets looked after and wanted an impartial party looking at it,” Ms. Herstein said. Judge Michael Orfinger appointed one the week of Dec. 13, after both the lender and owner agreed it would be appropriate.
“We’re trying to take advantage of this receiver period to get these things that are desperately needed to be done,” she said. “The receiver has been fantastic. He has been very responsive. And I feel like he knows what he’s doing and will do the best he can for the property.”
If any one of the deadlines for correcting the code violations is not met, the special magistrate will review it. If he sees non compliance, then fines would begin. But, Ms. Herstein added, that’s not what the city is anticipating to be the outcome in this case.
“We’re not in this for fines. We’re in this because we want movement on the property. We want it to be safe and ultimately developed. We are working hard with the new engineer, Harry Brumley of HB Associates LLC., while he reviews everything,” Ms. Herstein said.
The forebearance period for the foreclosure is until April 20. Jaymor would need to come up with $19 million to pay Ackers Financial within that timeframe to avoid final foreclosure. In the meantime, Ackers is in the position to look for another partner. And they are possibly doing that, Ms. Herstein said.
The city is hoping a four-star Marriott Hotel could be built there, said DBS Councilman Rick Frizalone, who is also head of the city’s Economic Development Council. The city is offering a number of incentive packages for developers, including for a future Marriott.
“We are dealing with all the local developers who are going to help us build this, which will be a cornerstone of the former Treasure Island. We are all very exited about it here at the Shores,” he said.