- June 28, 2019
Fountain Square Village in Ormond Beach is undergoing a renaissance.
With new boutiques, renovation of existing spaces and new ownership, the shopping plaza at 142 E. Granada Boulevard is being revitalized into a place for locals and tourists alike, a vision property manager Herve Rabeaux wanted to undertake after he and his family heard Fountain Square could be lost forever. Back in 2018, the previous owner held a neighborhood meeting where plans were presented to demolish the existing building and replace it with a a five-story commercial and residential building. That redevelopment came to a full stop after residents opposed the plans.
Rabeaux, son-in-law of Bikini Company owners Louise and Bruce Routzahn, reminisced with his family about the good memories they had in the past in Fountain Square, which was built in 1976. At the same time, the family was considering moving the existing Bikini Company storefront from across the street in the Granada Plaza to their own building.
“[The Routzahns] had so many good memories here too," Rabeaux said. "They said, ‘OK, let’s do it.’”
Bikini Company of Volusia County, Inc. purchased Fountain Square from Across The Pond LLC for $1.6 million on Feb. 28. Since then, the plaza has become the home for four new businesses, including a new Bikini Company storefront in the former location of Nest Interior Design. New boutique Joyologie has recently opened where fashion boutique My Adornments used to be prior to closing in 2019 and Beach People Boutique opened in June 11 inside the plaza. Bliss Wellness is also moving from its second-floor location to a bigger space downstairs where the Elite Academy of Music and Motion used to be. The plaza also houses the office for I've Got a Girl cleaning services and Leek Educational Services.
Rabeaux said they want to restore Fountain Square to what it once was, and then make it better.
“We certainly don’t want to be one more outlet plaza on the side of I-95," Rabeaux said. "We don’t want to be that …It’s all about respecting the people that live here, the community.”
Taylor Wendlocher, owner of MarketRite Digital Marketing, was brought onboard recently to complete all the marketing for Fountain Square. So far, she said it's been awesome to bring something new to the community.
The energy between tenants — both new and those who have been in the plaza for decades like Ron's Place of Barber Styling —has been great, Wendlocher said. They are becoming like a family and are all supportive of each other.
"It’s just good to kind of see everything start moving in the right direction," Wendlocher said. "Every day we get busier and busier.”
One of the newest businesses is Shape Up Ormond Beach, a healthy smoothie and shake shop that held its grand opening on June 27. Its drinks use Herbalife products and the business is hosting free workouts at 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, said Wellness Coach Christopher Minniear.
“We’re trying to bring that message into the community and try to help them be in better health and lifestyle," he said.
Minniear said they are happy being located inside Fountain Square, as its location offers proximity to the beach, the Granada bridge and Rockefeller Gardens, all of which are spots were people frequently exercise. Beyond that, he also said the plaza is pretty.
“It’s like a little European-area," Minniear said.
There is still work to be done beyond renovations, however — namely, a large tenant space to fill. Toscana, the Italian restaurant on the second floor of Fountain Square, has closed.
Rabeaux seeks to split the vacant space into two units, with perhaps a tapas restaurant on one end and a trendy eatery for the younger crowd on the other. Once the restaurant space is rented out, Wendlocher said they'll have all the pieces to complete the puzzle.
It's part of the mission to make Fountain Square a destination on the beachside, Rabeaux said.
“It’s Fountain Square Village," Rabeaux said. "Come have a good time here. Come talk with all the business owners and see what you need.”