By Clayton Park
Posted Apr 13, 2019 at 11:15 AM
Updated Apr 13, 2019 at 11:15 AM
The current surge in new luxury apartment projects does nothing to fill the Daytona Beach area’s need for more affordable housing, but local observer G.G. Galloway believes it could be helping address another chronic problem.
“For years, our greatest export has been our young people,” said the longtime commercial Realtor, referring to the “brain drain” trend of homegrown talent leaving to pursue opportunities in larger metro areas.
“Now we’re starting to keep our greatest asset, the young minds being educated right here,” said Galloway, a partner with Coldwell Banker Commercial Benchmark Properties in Ormond Beach. “An aging community dies. We need to keep our young people here.”
Keys to attracting and retaining young professionals include creating more high-paying jobs such as the ones being offered at companies like Daytona Beach-based Brown & Brown Insurance, Ormond Beach-based Security First Insurance, both of which are building new headquarters in the area, as well as medical products manufacturer B.Braun.
Other keys include opportunities for millennials to connect with one another, such as the Volusia and Ormond young professionals groups and the need for amenities such as a greater selection of shopping, dining and entertainment options, which are being created in places like Tanger Outlets and Tomoka Town Center shopping centers as well as the One Daytona complex across from Daytona International Speedway.
But there is also the need for housing options that can appeal to young professionals.
That’s where luxury apartments, such as the new Tomoka Pointe Apartments set to welcome its first new tenants next to Tomoka Town Center, and Icon One Daytona Apartments along International Speedway Boulevard come in.
Christian Harris, 22, is an account executive with Brown & Brown who has enlisted two friends, both also in their twenties, to become roommates with him in one of the first apartment units at Tomoka Pointe.
“We’ll be renting a 3-bedroom, 2-bath unit for $1,680 a month, not including utilities,” he said, adding that he and his roommates looked at several housing options including the possibility of renting an older existing single-family house.
“Why rent a house where everything is old and you have to keep up the lawn when I can pay less and live in a luxury apartment where everything is taken care of,” he said.
“In the future, I will buy a house, but at this time you can’t beat the price of living in an apartment in that kind of area,” he said, referring to the I-95/LPGA area where an abundance of retail stores, restaurants and entertainment venues are either within walking distance or a short drive away.
“We’re going to be in the heart of the LPGA area where there’s a ton of stuff to do, restaurants and Dave & Buster’s (etc.),” he said.
He added that he and his soon-to-be-future roommates, including a marketing analyst with Brown & Brown and the co-owner of a software firm, were also past roommates, although not all three at the same time, when they were students at Florida State University.
“I could get a 1-bedroom, 1-bath unit by myself, but I enjoy living with other people,” Harris said, adding that they expect to move into their new apartment in May.
While luxury apartments are also planned to be built in downtown Daytona Beach where Brown & Brown is slated to open its new headquarters campus on North Beach Street late next year, Harris said he anticipates continuing to live at Tomoka Pointe, which is just a few-minutes commute from work.
“I’m very excited,” he said. “I’ll definitely be spending summer weekends down at the (Tomoka Pointe community) pool/grill area.”
Clayton Park is the business editor for The Daytona Beach News-Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.