On the beachside, Main Street is the epicenter of Bike Week and Biketoberfest each year. For these two events, the street is a lively scene. But during the rest of the year, the street is pretty desolate. There are some businesses that stay open year round, but for the most part, buildings and businesses are closed.
If you walk down Main Street and look around, you'll see some lovely early 20th century buildings. This street could be the jewel of the beachside; the "bones" are there. We are working to polish that jewel. We want Main Street to be a year-round, inviting, vibrant, walkable destination.
Update April 2019
Change is finally coming to Main Street and it's not the result of a "game-changing" master plan or a government-directed initiative. Instead, we are seeing the incremental change brought by small businesses with devoted and energetic proprietors.
Carol's Cat House has every accessory, toy and supply even the most pampered cat might need, including biker accessories for Harley-loving kitties.
Peanut and George's has replaced the former Lucky Rooster. They open for breakfast and serve through dinner. Their burgers and fries are great, but they offer many other delicious choices.
The Pallet Pub is 3 businesses in one. The pub serves a wide selection of beers on tap, including local breweries. They also have a pallet painting business that lets their customers hand-craft a variety of rustic-looking signs for home decor. And their Hop-mobile is a party on wheels, allowing groups to pedal their way along a route to several bars and restaurants in Daytona Beach.
Murals are approved for building sides just off Main St., thanks to the diligence of Frank Molnar, a member of the county-appointed Beachside Redevelopment Committee, who has pursued this idea as an individual effort. An existing motorcycle mural was also freshened.
Some areas continue to languish. The former livery stable on Noble St. just off Main is still deteriorating; though a building permit is in place, demolition still appears to be a possibility. The often empty, ugly grey planters still decorate the streetscape. Multiple locations continue to violate temporary signage rules for the Redevelopment Area; Code Enforcement still has work to do along Main Street.
Update January 2018
On May 19th, C4RD invited members of the Daytona Area Chamber of Commerce and City Staff to do a walking tour of the E-Zone and Main Street Redevelopment Area. The kick-off for the walk was the newly-renovated Streamline Hotel. All of us shared the desire to support this beautiful addition to our beachside by urging the city to talk a serious look at the condition of the surrounding neighborhood.
Chamber members present admitted the kind of eyesores we witnessed that day will deter their ability to help bring new businesses to the area. Our image is NOT good. As I spoke to City staff about these problems, I got the feeling A. They have never seen many of the issues before, even though they have stood for decades and B. The broken-down look of the entire area almost seems acceptable to them. I felt I had to stress over and over again why these problems are detracting for new business, and creating an image of Daytona Beach that none of us can be proud of.
It is our hope that communicating in this way with the Daytona Regional Chamber of Commerce, and urging City officials to see the problems from the ground, that Citizens for Responsible Development will actually be on the forefront of some changes in the existing landscape that has been the norm for far too long. Visit Daytona Beach University for more details.
Update - May 2017
Seven months later, the Main Street problems we identified last January have barely changed. In the interim, the head of code enforcement has been replaced, the code officer primarily responsible for the area has been replaced by a rotation of officers, and there remains no clarity on who has overall responsibility for the lack of enforcement. Almost all of the violations that were submitted as complaints were returned 'unfounded'; a situation we were told was the result of new enforcement officers unfamiliar with the code provisions specific to redevelopment areas. We recently shared the list of 'unfounded' complaints, with each violation identified by the relevant section of the code, with the Deputy City Manager.
In response to the blight on our beachside, Volusia County Council appointed a special Committee on Beachside Redevelopment. So far, the committee has accomplished little more than a rehash of ideas from the plans you can find here, under Plans and Possibilities. If you haven't attended the meetings and would like to hear what was said, you can find audio and minutes here.