A new roughly half-mile connector road in north DeLand near DeLand Municipal Airport may seem small, but it has big potential for business in the city.
On July 28, the City of DeLand officially broke ground on a connector road between State Road 11 and Eidson Drive, better linking the DeLand Northwest Industrial Business Park near the municipal airport and a key north-south thoroughfare out of the city.
The new 3,260-foot-long road will mean a lot to business owners, DeLand Economic Development Manager Nick Conte said.
“Businesses need to be close to the interstate, close to I-95,” Conte said. “They need access to those roads.”
State Road 11 splits from U.S. Highway 17 just north of the Walmart Supercenter on DeLand’s north side. The state road runs north all the way to Flagler County, where it connects to U.S. 1. Drivers, Conte said, coming all the way from U.S. 1’s northern end in Jacksonville, will have easy access to the industrial area in DeLand.
The Northwest Industrial Business Park currently houses businesses like DaVita Labs and Complete Parachute Solutions.
The new connector road is a public-private partnership between the City of DeLand and the Skinner family, who own the land near the municipal airport.
Business owners can currently lease buildings from the City of DeLand, but the better connectivity will create even more options, Justin Clark, a real estate broker with Property Theater, told The Beacon.
“They can either own their property, or they can buy their property, and we can assist and build it for them,” Clark said. “That’s two good options, in addition to what the city was already offering.”
Property Theater, where Justin Clark is a broker, is a Jacksonville-based real estate and development company working with the Skinner family. The small-but-mighty new road represents a greater relationship between the City of DeLand and local private owners.
Conte believes the new interconnectivity within DeLand will help bring business to the city’s industrial park. Plus, he said, people can’t help but love the city.
“DeLand sells itself,” Conte said. “They know their workers are going to enjoy and fit in.”
Speaking at the groundbreaking, DeLand Mayor Bob Apgar recognized the potential for new jobs.
“Any of you that are in the real estate business … you love three words, ‘sell, sell, sell’ and also, ‘lease, lease, lease,’” he said. “Please find people to come to this project and help create jobs for our community.”
Construction on the new connector road is expected to be completed in December, but additional time may be needed.