If recent reports are accurate, it would appear the Halifax area’s on-again-off-again relationship with Canadian developer Bayshore Capital is warming again. . .
The News-Journal reported this week that the long-awaited Max Daytona – a 12-story, 72-unit uber-luxurious condominium project recently broke ground on its oceanfront lot in Daytona Beach Shores.
According to reports, “Prices for condo units at Max Daytona range from the low $400,000s to $1.4 million.”
In a market that last year saw a median sale price for beachside condos at just $207,000?
(Dammit. I promised myself I would stay positive here, so never mind my nay-saying, hypercritical horseshit. I simply want to take a nostalgic walk down memory lane. . .)
On Monday, Bayshore officials assured the News-Journal that “phase 1” of their sales program has met expectations, permits are in hand, and the project is set to come out of the ground within days – although Mr. Wolfond reports that “Out of respect for our owners’ privacy, we will not be sharing the amount of units sold.”
Call me crazy, but I get the heebie-jeebies whenever a developer plays sales figures close to the vest. After all, way back in February 2013, the News-Journal wrote of Bayshore’s highly-touted ‘next big game changer,’ the ill-fated Hard Rock Hotel & Café condominium project:
“A month after beginning a sales blitz for the condos at the Hard Rock Hotel and Cafe planned for the oceanfront, more than half of the units have been snatched up by buyers. “We’re targeting to be sold out by June,” said Henry Wolfond, CEO of Canada-based Bayshore Capital Inc.”
And, “Going into the Daytona 500 race weekend, Wolfond said he had 49 reservations for the 99 condos. After courting potential buyers in a rented suite at the Speedway for four days, that tally is sailing past 70, Wolfond said Monday afternoon.”
Apparently, that courtship was short-lived, because we all know how that adventure ended for us. . .
I’m not sure how salving the fears of your skeptical neighbors is being discourteous to Max Daytona owners, but I suppose we skittish residents of the Halifax area simply must come to grips with financial intrigue and uncertainty as the “new normal” when “new” friends come to town, правильный? (Correct?)
To say our relationship with Bayshore CEO, Henry Wolfond, has been complicated is an understatement.
You may recall that back in 2013, Mr. Wolfond came to town full of promise – telling everyone who is anyone in Volusia County’s political and social hierarchy that if we just agreed to sacrifice our century old heritage of beach driving in support of his proposed Hard Rock Hotel/Condo/Café, it would serve as a panacea for all the social, civic and economic ills that plague our very sick core tourist area.
At the time, Mr. Wolfond told us, “The gorgeous beach, hot cars, bikes, great hospitality and the sound of rock ‘n roll music together will celebrate Daytona Beach’s resurgence.”
And our “Rich & Powerful” swooned. . .remember?
“The city and county have been working hand-in-hand to rejuvenate the city of Daytona Beach, and we’re thrilled Hard Rock and Bayshore Capital have chosen ‘The World’s Most Famous Beach’ as its newest location for expansion,” said Derrick Henry, Mayor of Daytona Beach. “The synergies between Daytona Beach and Hard Rock are limitless, and we cannot wait for the brand to open the Hotel and Cafe.”
Then, when the idea was rightfully questioned by beach driving advocates and those concerned about public access – to include a protracted legal challenge to the effective privatization of our beach – Mr. Wolford wrote a haughty opinion piece in The Daytona Beach News-Journal labeling us all damnable “obstructionists” before taking his football and stomping back to Toronto in a huff.
Apparently, it never occurred to Mr. Wolfond that his investors may have been more than a little wary of a project that sought Palm Beach prices in a Hooterville market. . .
No, at the end of the day, it was our fault – and the power brokers and failed developer du jour – stood together and pointed their collective finger in our face like some demented Ebeneezer Scrooge – blaming We, The People for shitting on yet another cure-all.
Given that we’ve heard these pie-in-the-sky false promises from out of town speculators before, giving up more of our drivable beach was hard to swallow – and exposed the fact our Volusia County Council had no qualms about legislatively exploiting our most important economic and natural amenity as a cheap incentive.
When Mr. Wolfond threw in the towel, another developer, Summit Hospitality, ultimately turned the haunted ruins of the old Desert Inn into a diluted semblance of a real Hard Rock Hotel – complete with 410’ of traffic-free beach – and everyone got a chance to see, once and for all, just how little effect that combination had on the revitalization of the suppurating lesion that is our beachside. . .
Now, everyone in the know is thrilled with the groundbreaking at Max Daytona.
Hell, it’s ‘the next big thing,’ right?
Once again, the long-suffering denizens of the Fun Coast will forgive and forget – despite our instincts – and extend a hearty welcome to Mr. Wolfond and Bayshore Capital as they take another bite at the apple.
No hard feelings, Henry. We’re glad you’re back.
I hope you’ll forgive our trepidation.
It’s just that the residents of this salty piece of land have been screwed over so frequently, for so long, that suspicion and cynicism have become a physiological reflex.
Max Daytona is expected to open in “late 2021.”