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Pinnacle Tries To Soothe Daytona Businesses' Concerns With Apartment Plan

John Bozzo Staff Writer john.bozzo@news-jrnl.com January 31, 2001; Page 01C

DAYTONA BEACH -- Pinnacle Housing Group tried to mend fences Tuesday with downtown businesses that oppose a proposed affordable apartment project.

"This project will be good for the downtown," said Doug Daniels, a Daytona Beach attorney representing the Miami company. "We should have done a better job selling it." Daniels told about 22 people attending a meeting at a downtown restaurant that the proposed $18 million, 175-unit affordable housing project would help revive downtown.

"To have redevelopment downtown you need people living downtown; you need activity downtown," he said.

Businesspeople attending the meeting questioned Pinnacle representatives about access for delivery vehicles, the number of children in the project and parking.

"I've put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into the downtown since the '70s," one businesswoman said. "I hate to think we're taking a step backwards."

Sean Schwinghammer, Pinnacle vice president, said access points would be widened for delivery vehicles.

Schwinghammer disputed one businessman's contention that as many as 370 children might live in the development. Families with children typically don't seek downtown apartments and young couples would likely move when they have children, he said.

The mix of 20 one-bedroom, 20 three-bedroom and 135 two-bedroom units is designed to respond to market conditions, he said. "If we make this all one-bedrooms, it's not going to be a community that's appealing to people down the road," Schwinghammer said.

The businesspeople were concerned about parking because construction would displace about 250 spaces at an existing parking lot owned by Daytona Beach.

Schwinghammer responded that Pinnacle could continue offering some public parking through the 16-month apartment construction period at the 4.38-acre site between Magnolia and Palmetto avenues, Ivy Lane and Wall Street.

However, no parking would be available at the site during the six months it would take to build a parking garage. Pinnacle has begun negotiations for temporary parking on nearby vacant sites, Schwinghammer said.

He defended Pinnacle's plan to provide 300 spaces in the parking garage for the apartments, which businesspeople have said is inadequate. The city staff maintains the project should have 345 parking spaces for apartments and retail amenities.

City officials have the option to expand the parking garage to a total of 700 spaces -- 300 for the apartments and 400 for the public. The larger parking garage is considered essential by city staff and businesses because construction would displace existing parking. But the city is holding back on the expansion because it is hiring a consultant to study citywide parking needs.

"We want a commitment from the city to do the (expanded) parking garage," Wohl said.

The City Commission is expected to consider a development agreement Feb. 7 committing the city to investing $1.5 million in the apartment project, plus the parking lot it owns valued at $500,000. Expanding the parking garage would add $2.5 million to the city's costs.

Daniels said Daytona Beach could issue tax- free bonds to finance its investment of about $4 million. The bonds could be repaid over 28 years solely with increased property tax revenue generated by the Pinnacle project, even if there's no charge for public parking, he said.

 




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