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An enthusiastic group of DeBary and West Volusia community leaders joined the staffs of Charles Wayne Properties and Integra Land Co. recently to officially break ground on Integra 289 Exchange at The Junction. The luxury, 289-unit apartment community is the first phase of DeBary’s long-awaited town center adjacent to the north leg of the SunRail route.

David McDaniel is the founder and principal of Integra Land Co., which is well-known in the Volusia area for quality apartment communities. He said not only is this his company’s first transit-oriented project, “It will also augment the existing Gemini Springs trail system in DeBary that will wind through the landscape of the apartment community that supports the natural environment.”

CPH Engineers and ACI Architectural Consultants are on the Integra team.

Longtime DeBary Mayor Bob Garcia said he was privileged to lead the City Council that worked tirelessly with Steve Costa and other principals at Charles Wayne Properties throughout the past 15 years because a project like this serves as the foundation for DeBary’s future growth.

Incoming Mayor Karen Chasez said, “These 289 apartments first and foremost fill an essential niche in the DeBary area, and the retail that follows will be a welcome addition for several other surrounding residential developments in southern DeBary as well.”

Shari Simmans, executive director of the West Volusia Regional Chamber of Commerce, said, “The diversity of the residential and commercial buildings will create a real hometown center that we have been waiting for in DeBary.”

Costa is in discussions with national grocery chains and a variety of commercial users to complete The Junction’s mix of office, retail, entertainment and residential uses enhanced by natural amenities.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for investors, developers, professional firms, and retailers,” he said. “The several nearby residential developments underway provide a growing demand for retail, medical, and office space.”

Stuart-based Seacoast Bank is handling financing for Charles Wayne Properties’ development that will feature 104,000 square feet of retail space, including a planned 46,000-square-foot major grocery store, as well as restaurants and offices. Costa is talking to select builders for the project’s next phase — 150 single-family detached homes.

The high-profile location of The Junction affords easy access to major arterial highways and international airports via U.S. 17-92, Interstate 4 and S.R. 417. The property is surrounded by state parks, with interconnecting trails that extend from St. Augustine to St. Petersburg.

“All this, and it’s just five minutes north of the Orlando MSA’s booming Lake Mary office and retail corridor,” Costa said.

Even Orange City City Council Members Jeff Allebach and Bill Crippen attended the event to voice their city’s support because “This will help more people ride the SunRail, which should in turn help Orange City get a station too,” said Allebach.

“The development is a great complement that will support and increase ‘ecotourism’ — travel to Southwest Volusia’s trail system, parks and the area’s natural habitats,” according to Crippen.

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