Daytona Beach, FL – Residents will have one more chance to see what’s on the minds of the designers behind the big overhaul of a downtown Daytona Beach public park.
That’s set to take place next Wednesday (April 24th) between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. in the lobby of the News-Journal Center off of 221 North Beach Street. It’s the final of three open houses regarding Riverfront Park, two of which took place yesterday (April 17th) at the NJC.
Residents will be able to see the current ideas and talk with the members of the design team, who will be available for questions and comments on the project. Those who show up may also fill out comment cards to share their thoughts with designers.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for the city of Daytona Beach,” said Cici Brown, one half of the Daytona-based insurance company Brown & Brown. “We just happen to live in this beautiful environment with this riverfront view.”
Last month, the Daytona Beach City Commission voted unanimously to lease the mile-long property to the Brown Riverfront Esplanade Foundation after Cici Brown and her husband – Brown & Brown Chief Executive Officer Hyatt Brown – offered the city $15 million to renovate the park plus the creation of a $3 million endowment to pay for park worker salaries and other costs.
That private nonprofit foundation will run and maintain the park for the next 50 years, according to the lease, with the city on the hook for at least $800,000 every year in maintenance fees following the renovation.
According to Cici, that number was decided based on a formula they extracted from similar public parks around the state of Florida and how much they pay for maintenance.
Even though Daytona would be on the hook for $500,000 more than they are now for park maintenance, some of that money will still come from the Browns.
“When the new Brown & Brown building gets up and running, it’s going to kick off somewhere between $500,000 and $600,000 in tax money,” said Cici. “That goes into the CRA (Community Redevelopment Area). It will help pay for this project.”
Among the new features being considered are a raised walkway, kayak launch, walking paths, a new overlook and two restroom building, both mimicking the architecture found on the Kress building and the Burgoyne Casino building.
However, as Cici stated, all of the plans aren’t set in stone.
“We aren’t through tweaking things,” said Cici. “There’s a lot of opportunity here for changes.”
The final design will have to go in front of the Daytona Beach City Commission for approval before any dirt is turned, which could happen as soon as the end of this year.