One of the most exciting developments to be announced since the recession is coming to life in Daytona Beach, Fla. A team of incredible talent has joined together to develop ONE Daytona, a 1.1 million-square-foot mixed-use retail and entertainment center on property adjacent to Daytona International Speedway. The seasoned project team includes Atlanta-based Jacoby Development, International Speedway Corporation (ISC) and The McGarey Group. With 109 retailers meeting with the group at May's ICSC RECon show in Las Vegas, the center is generating a lot of buzz in the industry.
"The Florida market is back; the retail market is back, and this is the major retail project in Florida," says Jim Jacoby, chairman of Jacoby Development.
With the excitement and built-in market surrounding the Daytona Speedway, and the power of its owner — NASCAR powerhouse International Speedway Corp. — the project had retailers interested at its announcement just before RECon. Already signed with letters of intent are Bass Pro Shops, who plans to build a new, 65,000-square-foot store concept at the center and Cobb Theatres, for a 2,400-seat movie theater.
ISC, the largest owner of NASCAR race tracks and other venues, had the vision to build an experience around its company keystone, Daytona International Speedway. The company had previously worked with other developers to develop a Hollywood Casino adjacent to its Kansas Speedway. The Speedway served as the catalyst for a 400-acre, $573 million development on adjacent property. That project receives 13 million visitors annually.
"This project allows us to continue reinvesting in our community while unlocking the full value of our prime acreage across from Daytona International Speedway," says ISC's Chief Executive Officer Lesa France Kennedy. "Combined with the recently launched DAYTONA Rising project at the Speedway, we believe these efforts will strengthen our business while delivering an unprecedented boost to the region's prosperity for years to come."
The DAYTONA Rising project — a complete overhaul of the front grandstand of ISC's Daytona International Speedway — will be timed to coincide with the construction of ONE Daytona.
"Our goal is to enhance and extend the guest experience at Daytona International Speedway," adds Brian Wilson, vice president of corporate development for ISC. "More than that, we want to create a destination for visitors to the Daytona Beach area, as well as for residents in our community. There's a good business case for us, a benefit to the area's tourism and an amenity to local residents."
ISC spoke with a number of developers around the country in seeking one for the property. The decision for Jacoby to act as developer was made earlier this year, and action has since been swift, first with the large push at RECon and then following up with a number of letters of intent.
"The key tenants for the project understand the value that a market like this presents, as well as the association with Daytona International Speedway," says Wilson. "Daytona Beach is a fantastic market, from its local population to its 8 million tourists."
The trade area surrounding the center has about 600,000 residents. Market leakage — residents traveling to other markets to meet their retail needs — is estimated at greater than $1 billion per year.
"Now, residents are traveling to Jacksonville, Orlando or South Florida to spend," says Denver McGarey, principal of The McGarey Group. "They see those projects and they know what they are like, and they know that they don't exist at home in Daytona Beach. The local market has long supported a strong regional mall and a lot of beachfront retail and restaurant activity, but there is pent-up demand for a lot of retail that hasn't made it to the market yet."
Because of the Speedway, there is a strong tourism component, estimated at about 30 million visitors per year. About 14.5 million cars pass by the site annually. Daytona International Speedway itself has activity over 300 days per year.
"We have a trophy venue to begin with that attracts a diverse group of people and activity," says Howard Elkus, principal of Elkus Manfredi Architects, who is designing ONE Daytona. "Building on that is an exciting priviledge for our firm. The center is a companion piece to the speedway itself, which operates throughout the year. We are creating a regional center that operates almost 24/7/365."
Plans for ONE Daytona call for the development to be divided into three distinct destinations, each serving a different demand and experience. At 125,000 square feet, Victory Circle is a high-energy area that will have retail and restaurants that meet that challenge. Victory Circle will be anchored by Bass Pro Shops with another 50,000 square feet of food and beverage retail. Jacoby and The McGarey Group are in negotiations with large-scale restaurant operators for this area of ONE Daytona. Victory Circle is envisioned as the area that visitors will think of when they recall their visit — the Magic Kingdom of ONE Daytona.
"This is where — eight times a year — close to 40,000 people who come to watch the various races at the Daytona Speedway enter the venue," says Brian Leary, managing director of Jacoby Development. "Today, sporting venues really compete against the couch. Today's successful sporting venues need a hyper experience. The idea with Victory Circle is to create that hyper experience. It's not just about racing; it is about sports. It is going to feel like it's race day here every day."
A full-service hotel has also been master-planned to anchor the Victory Circle district.
"The leasing velocity on this project is tremendous," says McGarey. "We are at letter of intent with a lot of great retailers and restaurants who aren't afraid to say no to most projects. They aren't saying 'no.' This is the right state, the right market and the right project."
The BLVD, at 350,000 square feet, is designed as a more traditional shopping street that will also contain residential and hotel phases above retail and restaurant uses. It's anticipated that popular fashion and home retailers will line either side of Daytona Boulevard — a main promenade that invites visitors to shop, relax and dine and is anchored by Cobb's ONE Daytona Theatres.
Cobb's 12-screen theater will have more food and beverage offerings than a normal theater, and the amenities for the 2,400 seats will be strong. The size and style of the theater will also be unique to the market. Cobb is also planning to have a bar/restaurant operation at the front. Non-moviegoers will be able to visit the restaurant. Cobb Theatres' largest market is Florida; the company has theaters in Palm Beach County; Miami, Tampa and Orlando.
"ONE Daytona is a unique opportunity for Cobb Theatres," says Jeremy Welman, chief operating officer of the theatre chain. "We've been keen on the market for many years. Daytona Beach is at the center of a large trade area. To have the opportunity to do something with the folks at ISC and Jacoby is also a benefit to us. The accompanying renovation of the track along with the addition of ONE Daytona will create an amazing destination. There aren't too many projects around the country where you have that dynamic."
The third area, to the right of the main center, will be called The Village Market. The area comprises 92,000 square feet, which will mostly be taken by a grocery store and small shop space.
"The attention for this project is coming from several different areas," says McGarey. "Daytona Beach is a hugely underserved market by restaurants. A lot of tenants are interested in the market, but there has never been the kind of retail center that fits their style. You have the pent-up consumer demand, and the tenant interest that is seeking the right format."
Retailers — like Bass Pro Shops — who have signed letters of intent are already talking about creating storefronts customized to the center's unique look and audience.
"We are very excited to bring Bass Pro Shops to Daytona Beach and be a part of ONE Daytona — a unique, high quality mixed-use and entertainment destination," says Johnny Morris, founder of Bass Pro Shops. "The area's long history of outdoor entertainment, along with the highly visible and easily accessible location, make it the perfect place to serve our many customers and outdoor enthusiasts that visit and live in this beautiful part of the country. We also look forward to partnering with the France family and our friends at Daytona International Speedway to promote events for the hundreds of thousands of race fans who also love the outdoors."
While Bass Pro Shops is planning a new store tailored to the market and shopping experience, Johnny Morris's enthusiasm is carrying through because the market ONE Daytona offers is a tailored fit for the retailer.
"Retailers are comfortable with this setting for one overwhelming reason that I keep hearing in our discussions: ISC is the foremost company of branding," says McGarey. "ISC understands how to energize a brand; they are interactive brand masters. Retailers want to be a part of the culture of the Speedway; they are comfortable that they have a partnership with Jacoby and ISC. They know how to operate stores that can deal with the critical mass they are going to get when ONE Daytona opens."
Bass Pro Shops and ISC are also in discussions to extend the Bass Pro brand and experience across the street as part of the new and improved Daytona International Speedway.
In addition to hotel and residential space, 100-acre-plus master plan includes student housing north of the project. There are five universities near the ONE Daytona site.
"When you have a project that has multiple uses, we want to create within the environments multiple experiences — a layering of spaces — so you seamlessly move from one area to the other," says Oscar Mertz with Elkus Manfredi.
Leasing momentum, already in full swing, is expected to be swift, with a number of further announcements expected by the New York ICSC Dealmaking in December.
"We are going to draft a number of leases behind these commitments because the players we are dealing with know their business well and know this center is right for them," says McGarey.
ONE Daytona is timed for completion with a $400 million renovation of the grandstands at Daytona International Speedway in a program ISC has termed "DAYTONA Rising." The renovation will make Daytona International Speedway more convenient and comfortable for visitors, as well as enhancing the economic impact the Speedway has on the state of Florida by adding new amenities. The renovation involves rebuilding the front stretch of the grandstand — over 100,000 seats and nearly one mile long — adding new seats, suites, elevators, social areas and other first-class amenities.
"The transformation will make Daytona International Speedway the first motorsports stadium in the United States," says Wilson. "We think our fans will be pleased with the results and that will draw additional people here throughout the year."
Today, pre-renovation, more than 100,000 people per year take the tour of the Speedway that ISC offers. That number is expected to increase post-renovation.
"We think that ONE Daytona will create the vibrant and exciting entertainment center that will serve as a new destination for Daytona Beach and help it become an upscale, year-round destination for the residents in the area and tourists of all ages," says Wilson. "Making the center upscale will set a new standard and really allow ONE Daytona and the speedway to serve as t the gateway to Daytona Beach."
For The McGarey Group, who is handling leasing at ONE Daytona, the project is a perfect fit. The company has handled the leasing for Westgate City Center, the entertainment and retail district adjacent to the University of Phoenix Stadium, home of the Arizona Cardinals. The company also previously worked for Jacoby Development when JDI created Atlantic Station in Atlanta. The companies are wagering that their collaboration will again be a success with ONE Daytona.
For Jacoby, the opportunity to create another landmark property is present and clear, and something that the company is excited and enthusiastic about. With ISC, Jacoby has held several kick-off events for the project at ONE Daytona, and will continue the project's momentum at several ICSC Dealmakings this fall.
"As we created with Atlantic Station, we want to create an iconic destination for the Daytona Beach market and visitors to Daytona International Speedway," says Leary. "By gathering a best-of-the-best collection of retailers, restaurants and hotel brands, we are going to create a one-of-a-kind experience."
For ISC, whose headquarters and top race track sit adjacent to the center, ONE Daytona is a very personal project. In addition to its headquarters being on-site, NASCAR's headquarters are in the same office building, as are those for GRAND-AM. ISC controls 13 racing venues, including those for 21 of the 39 annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, and has interests in a number of other companies, including Motor Racing Network, the nation's largest independent sports radio network, and Americrown, a foodservice vendor active at the company's speedways. ISC considers ONE Daytona to be an extension of the access that NASCAR allows its fans: it will be a place where fans — and residents — can visit year round to get the NASCAR experience.
"Our goal with ONE Daytona is to create a vibrant year-round destination that will serve as a new gateway to our hometown," says Lesa France Kennedy. "We're thrilled to partner with Jacoby, an experienced and renowned developer, to bring this one-of-a-kind opportunity to Daytona Beach. We are also proud that Bass Pro Shops and Cobb Theaters plan to anchor ONE Daytona. Their involvement further elevates the reputation of our project and demonstrates the high-caliber entertainment, shopping and dining establishments we plan to attract."
— Randall Shearin