Long considered a bedroom community for the greater Orlando area, Deltona appears to be on the verge of a commercial boom, according to the city’s chief business recruiter.
“We want more commercial — more commercial taxes, and more jobs,” Deltona Economic Development Manager Jerry Mayes said.
The number of people who now call Deltona home is increasing, and that means more demand for retail stores and workplaces.
“The city is growing,” Mayes added. “We’ve gone past the 90,000 mark.”
The prospect of major-name stores and restaurants setting up shop in Deltona looms larger now, following years of complaints about having to drive to Orange City or Sanford for an evening out or to shop.
“We’re getting the restaurants,” Mayes said. “There’s a lot of stuff in discussion.”
Among the names Mayes disclosed as coming or likely to come to or expand in Deltona: Starbucks, McDonald’s, IHOP, Arby’s, Wendy’s, Hardee’s and Taco Bell.
A Burger King will be located near Deltona High School.
“We’ve heard Chili’s is coming,” Mayes added.
Also now under construction along Howland are O’Reilly Auto Parts and a Wawa convenience store with gasoline pumps.
Howland Boulevard is home to much of the new development, and has largely replaced Deltona Boulevard as the city’s main street.
Howland serves as a sort of beltway around the northern and eastern sides of Deltona. The mostly four-lane road has become an alternative to Interstate 4 for many workers commuting to and from Orlando.
Howland effectively extends State Road 472 from Interstate 4 to State Road 415. In recent years, the road has seen more businesses build and open along its two sides.
The I-4/S.R. 472 interchange has became a nucleus of medical development, anchored now by Halifax Health. Halifax Health opened a free-standing emergency center on the east side of the interchange in Deltona in 2017. That emergency center is now morphing into a 90-bed hospital due to open in 2020.
Intending to solidify its position as a medical provider and compete with Halifax for Deltonans’ health care dollars, AdventHealth — formerly known as Florida Hospital — is building its own free-standing emergency room along Howland Boulevard, about a mile east of the Deltona Halifax Health campus.
The $12 million AdventHealth ER, which is supposed to open later this year, is to be a satellite of AdventHealth Fish Memorial in Orange City. The Deltona AdventHealth emergency center may draw additional related facilities.
“I expect in the next three years, there will be a medical-office complex on that site,” AdventHealth Fish Memorial CEO Robert Deininger said.
The medical development on Deltona’s north side is taking place simultaneously with a $100 million expansion of the AdventHealth Fish Memorial hospital in Orange City, where many Deltonans now go and will likely continue to go for treatment.
With the medical-service market in Deltona growing and adding high-wage employment, Mayes says the city is now a land of opportunity for big-brand companies.
Without naming the developer or the franchise, Mayes said a hotel may be built at or near the Howland/S.R. 472 interchange.
Near there, acreage on both sides of North Normandy Boulevard surrounding and adjacent to Epic Theatres has potential. Developers are eyeing the vacant tract where cattle now graze as a prime location for a shopping center, to be accessed by trails and sidewalks, as well as streets and roads.
“Are we going to have a downtown just like Sanford or DeLand? No,” Mayes said. “But we will have a city center.”