Daytona Beach, FL - City leaders vote unanimously to lease a public city park to a private foundation, owned by a local couple.
Almost a year ago (July 19th, 2018), Cici and Hyatt Brown, owners of Daytona Beach-based insurance company Brown & Brown, told city commissioners that they were willing to put forth $15 million of their own money to revitalize the Riverfront Park.
Following tonight's meeting, the lease and the plan were approved, along with a few maintenance terms.
The Browns will pay $15 million to renovate the park, with a few additions, and contribute around $3 million to an endowment to cover the cost of a park manager plus assistant.
Daytona Beach, in turn, will pay $800,000 a year to maintain the park.
That $800,000 will come from the property tax generated by the Brown's new building, which is being constructed on Beach Street in Downtown Daytona, across from the park.
"This is a community effort it is not the effort for a person or a group of people," said Hyatt Brown, co-owner of Brown & Brown. "It is, in my opinion, the opportunity to revitalize the downtown area of the City of Daytona Beach."
Brown said that if and when the lease is approved, they will hold public hearings to determine the final design of the park, which will be approved by the city.
Rules and regulations of the park will also be decided by the city, including what times that park opens and closes.
Another issue that Brown wishes to discuss for the park, is restroom security, saying that restrooms can be "bad places" and he wants to avoid that by making sure the security of those new restrooms is the best they can acquire.
One proposed park designs shows event lawns on the north end of the park near Main Street. In the center, near International Speedway Boulevard, a fountain plaza. Between ISB and Orange Avenue, a botanical garden was also planned.
Two new plazas are also planned for the park, Manatee Plaza, which will be located across the water from Manatee Island. And Bethune Plaza, named after Dr. Mary McLeod-Bethune. Both will be found near each other on the north end of the park.