Let us now talk business. Have you driven around the city lately? How many business owners live in Deltona (the biggest city in Volusia County) and yet have their business in another city (example: Orange City, Sanford, etc...)? As a small business owner I can tell you, from first hand experience, how hard it is to open a business here in Deltona. They will tell you, "Oh we just do it the right way." or "It is for your protection that we take a long time." My friends this is called over regulation. There is a difference between doing things the right way and being efficient and trying to over regulate and taking forever. Do not get me wrong some regulations are good. But, over regulation is not.
Think about how much commerce there really is in Deltona. I do not mean just food stores like your Neighborhood Wal-Mart, Publix or Winn-Dixie. I mean besides the Wal-Mart on Howland and 415 and the Lowe's on Howland and Elkcam you need to drive to Orange City or Sanford to buy clothes, furniture, tools, decor, etc... I think you get the point I am trying to make. I am not trying to say that Dollar General, Family Dollar, and Dollar Tree are not good options. But, with as much land as we have that can be developed, why not propose a Marshall's, or a Target, or a Home Goods, or even an Outlet or a Small Mall. Have you been to the Loop (Check it out) in Kissimmee?
The point I am trying to make is that most of us work outside of Deltona already. It makes shopping even harder. Why? Well, because it means having to drive to Orange City or even to Sanford to go to a store. Now lets not only see it from a shopping point of view. Think about the jobs that having more commerce would bring the City of Deltona! Think about our youth! They will have a place to be able to start becoming responsible young adults. A place where they can start earning money and be able to contribute to their city by paying taxes. Instead we send them to Orange City or Sanford to get a job and sometimes as far as Orlando. I think it is time we change the culture within the City of Deltona and its' anti-Business attitude.
There are so many possibilities to make our city boom in real economic growth. In the examples to come I will show you how just a little would go a long way for our city. Keep in mind that I will be focusing on 2 areas (Deltona Plaza and Courtland Square Shopping Center) that have already been developed, 1 that has development started. I am not even going to give examples on some of the other lands that are for sale that can be developed.
Currently there are a few businesses and what use to be a bank in the plaza. But what if we can do more to bring more business? Why not incentivize the building owners and new businesses? Take a look at the picture above. This is completely doable and it would create jobs and bring so much commerce into Deltona. Did I mention this can be done without the need of destroying any green spaces!
Keep in mind that the specific stores are not necessarily the ones that have to be there. But, they provide you with an idea and a concept of what we could do with that part of Deltona Blvd alone. An Outlet Concept would work very well in this location.
Epic Theater Location
Thank God for a very patient family. It took over 10 years from the moment the land was purchased to have what our youth would say is one of their only fun things to do in Deltona! But why stop there? Well, again...instead of getting out of the way and allowing true economic development we do the complete opposite. We stand in the way and regulate every single thing that the contractors do.
Again, ignoring the store names. As this is just an example. Can you imagine the impact this could have on our lives, economy, our children and our city? My plan is to concentrate business growth on three focal points in the city and not just on Howland Blvd. By doing this we will give the entire city an even growth and the residents the ability to have some type of commerce near them.
Take a look at the image below. It is a picture from City Place in West Palm Beach, FL. It has a movie theather, resturants and stores on the 1st and 2nd floors, and on floors 3 thru 5 there are high end apartments. This would be a game changer in Deltona. A big change from dollar stores and gas stations.
Courtland Square Shopping Center
Here again we have another shopping center that has been empty for years. There is literally little to no movement. The small businesses that have opened stores in this plaza have had to close down due to a lack of traffic.
Family owned businesses like Cakery26. Gave it a try. They had a great Grand Opening. People showed up and enjoyed the product. Yet a very little time after they had to close. For the same reasons. A lack of traffic and a city that pretends to be business friendly while making it nearly impossible to start or continue running a business. This is not a formula for success.
Now let's look at the picture on the left. What can we do to bring stores like Crayola Experience? Anchors like Crayola Experience or a Whole Foods would absolutely help the surrounding small businesses. Especially those in the very same plaza. Again these are stores that are about 30 minutes plus away from the city of Deltona. We would be bringing them to our city! Imagine the positive impact this would have on our community.
No more driving long distances to help another city's economic development. Let's be honest as well. Most of us work in Orlando, Orange City, DeLand, Sanford, and Lake Mary. Some in Daytona Beach. When you get home from a long day at work and a long drive do you really want to drive 30 plus minutes to go to any of the stores I have mentioned so far? I believe that the answer is NO! Unless it is your day off, you want to get home, shower, eat, and REST!