Daytona Beach Economic Board Discusses Economic Impact of Development

Daytona Beach Economic Board Discusses Economic Impact of Development

There was not much on the agenda for the Daytona Beach Economic Development Advisory Board meeting this month, but members used their time to talk about how they could be more effective in the city’s economic development efforts.

Jeff Brown, Daytona Beach economic and strategic opportunities director, briefed the board on certificates of occupancy issued recently in the city.

“These numbers are down as opposed to this same time last year,” Brown said. “So, we are starting to see a little bit of a slowdown in housing.”

Asked about permit activity for multifamily housing projects, Brown said permit activity isn’t always a good indication of what is really happening.

“You can get issued a permit and they can get sat on,” he said. “That is why I look at certificates of occupancy because those are units actually constructed.”

Advisory Board Chairman Bob Rand said tighter lending for residential projects has slowed on multifamily development nationally.

“I don’t think Florida has slowed that much,” he said. “I think Florida is the exception and I will be interested to see how this unfolds.”

Brown said he recently met with a Canadian manufacturing company considering an expansion to the Sunshine State.

“They do a lot of work in aerospace and military,” he said. “They’re looking to move, and they also do some cybersecurity. They’re looking to slowly move into the area.”

Brown said the company is interested in moving some office staff and some engineers but has not specified how much space they are seeking.

“Not a lot of people are looking for office space,” he said. “I need to get them nailed down on what size they need.”

Board members spent some time discussing the possibility of reviewing the potential economic impact of projects in the city as companies go through the development process.

“I’m wondering if this body could play a role in assisting staff or an applicant of reviewing the economic impact and maybe have ourselves be available to a developer or an applicant to come in and give a presentation,” said board member Harry Lloyd. “I’d like to have the board consider this.”

Katrina Friel, Volusia County Economic Development business manager, said the county can do economic impact studies.

“Any project you need we can run for you,” she said.

Friel said it is important to know who the end users for a development project are to do an accurate impact assessment.

“Economic impact is going to be based on the number of jobs, the wages and what those jobs are,” she said. “So higher paying jobs that have higher skills are going to have a higher economic impact on the area.”