Daytona Beach’s one-time largest private landowner is distancing itself from that distinction in a hurry.
Consolidated-Tomoka Land Co. sold 2,700 acres in Daytona Beach last year that are expected to bring hundreds more apartment units, homes and commercial properties to an area already bursting with activity.
Those transactions totaled nearly $60 million, the most revenue from land sales in a single year in the company’s 117-year history.
“It was a good year,” CEO John Albright said.
Consolidated-Tomoka has pending deals in its pipeline that could fetch as much as $70 million this year and $30 million more in 2020. By then, its local real estate holdings would be reduced to 3,700 acres — less than a sixth of what it owned in the mid-1990s.
The record sales come even as Albright had to fend off attacks from the company’s largest shareholder — who pushed for his resignation the past two years — and as he looks to a future in which Consolidated-Tomoka will have to reinvent itself again.
The company, which got its start producing the materials used to seal decks of wooden ships, is now moving from selling land to managing income-producing properties in multiple states. Two of those projects are local: multi-use apartment and retail developments in Daytona Beach’s downtown and beachside tourism district.
As Volusia County ponders a vote for a half-cent increase to the sales tax — driven in part by the needs of new development on former Consolidated-Tomoka lands — it seems clear that the company’s influence on Daytona Beach won’t be ending with the sale of its largest holdings.
Whether that’s a good thing is a matter of perspective.
On the one hand, Consolidated-Tomoka’s land sales have meant new housing, shopping and jobs. In the words of City Commissioner Rob Gilliland, the company is “the biggest job creator and driver of economic development over the last decade that we’ve seen in Daytona Beach.”
If that sounds like more than a touch of understatement, it could be because 2019 might be even better.