More redevelopment is coming to Ormond Beach's downtown, as the City Commission unanimously approved a development order on first reading at its meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 19, for a new retro-style barbecue restaurant to replace the blighted site at 100 W. Granada Blvd.
The existing gas station building will be demolished by local developer Bill Jones to construct The Pumphouse. The restaurant's style will pay homage to the parcel's previous use, as it will be reminiscent of an art deco gas station. City Commissioner Dwight Selby said he was glad the site was being redeveloped and that he didn't realize a decade had passed since there was a gas station there.
“The building is gorgeous," Selby said. "I hope it’s incredibly successful.”
The project previously gained unanimous approval by the city's planning board, despite its limited parking of two spaces onsite. Planning Director Steven Spraker said that the city understands the parking concerns, and is working with School Board staff to negotiate the hours of operation that the adjacent Ormond Beach Elementary school parking lot can be utilized for non-school purposes. Currently, the lot has a sign allowing for parking on Mondays-Fridays after 5 p.m., and on weekends.
“First and foremost, that would always be a school lot," Spraker said. "They have priority.”
City Commissioner Troy Kent said he wasn't on board with opening the school lot for the public during school hours, citing student safety.
“They’ve got things locked up for a reason in today’s age," Kent said.
He would be willing, however, to consider opening it earlier than 5 p.m. Spraker said the city's Downtown Master Plan will be updated in 2019, and parking is one of the issues the city will address.
City Commissioner Rob Littleton said this project would further the city's initiative to create a walkable downtown.
“This is the definition of smart growth," Littleton said.