110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
By Al Everson
posted Nov 16, 2009 - 10:13:46am
Twenty years after the Southwest Activity Center was conceived as a vibrant business zone at the interchange of Interstate 4 and State Road 472, the first actual commercial development appears imminent.
Approximately 260 acres of scrub woods on the northwest edge of Deltona may soon be the location of a multiplex cinema and shops. The proposal to develop the raw acreage along North Normandy Boulevard and East Graves Avenue goes before the Deltona Planning and Zoning Board for a public hearing Nov. 18.
“EPIC Theaters has submitted a request for rezoning for theaters and other retail,” said Planning Manager Ron Paradise.
The Planning and Zoning Board will consider whether the property should be rezoned from its current Agricultural and Industrial classifications to a Business Planned Unit Development (BPUD). The Planning and Zoning Board’s decision will be a recommendation to the City Commission, which will make the final decision on any zoning change.
The project is known as Deltona Village, and the initial construction could begin in the first or second quarter of 2010, Paradise added. Deltona Village is to be built out in three phases.
“The first phase is going to include a movie theater and some outparcel fronts along the Howland and Graves corridors,” Paradise continued. “This thing is going to happen through evolution, not revolution.”
EPIC Theaters and its president, Frank DeMarsh, have formed a separate entity for Deltona Village. The new company is Deltona Retail Holdings LLC. DeMarsh’s corporate offices are in DeLand. DeMarsh could not be reached for comment.
Much of the acreage has already been cleared, and is awaiting more site preparation prior to construction.
Deltona Village is part of the Southwest Activity Center, which covers 1,824 acres. The Southwest Activity Center is a joint venture of the cities of Deltona and DeLand and Volusia County, and planners envision it as an economic-development and commercial district, similar to Heathrow in Seminole County.
The Deltona piece of the Southwest Activity Center consists of 900 acres on the east side of I-4.
The entire Southwest Activity Center is a development of regional impact (DRI). A DRI is a project so large it potentially affects transportation, housing, labor, public safety, education, and the overall quality of life over a wide area. Such projects require review and approval by a host of local, state and even federal agencies. The Southwest Activity Center has been almost 20 years in the making, beginning with its inclusion in the county’s state-mandated growth-management plan, adopted by the County Council in 1990.
The Planning and Zoning Board meets at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 18, at Deltona City Hall, 2345 Providence Blvd. The meeting is open to the public.
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