The Volusia County Council has approved spending $1.25 million to buy up the Argosy Hotel in Ormond-By-The-Sea (http://www.argosymotel.com) and turn it into parking. Councilman Doug Daniels says off beach parking has become a significant need for the community.
"It provides access to the beach for our citizens, and this is on a no drive section of the beach already, so it's very important we have access there and increase it."
The County estimates it can put 56 parking spaces on the site of the hotel, which comes out to $22,300 per parking space, a cost Daniels says is well worth it.
"When you do it on the east side of A1A, you're going to have to pay a little bit more, but it's a lot cheaper than like putting in an overpass."
Just two years ago, the Argosy Hotel was on the market for $3 million, but go no takers. Recently it was put back on the market for $1.5 million, and Daniels says that was the time to negotiate down the price the County ended up paying.
"It goes right with what property is going for on the beach right now."
With a cars free zone here, and one in Daytona with other hotel properties asking for a car free zone, it would seem the push is on to take all cars off Volusia beaches. Councilman Daniels does not expect that to happen.
"If this council was going to take the cars off the beach, it would have done it for the Westin Hotel."
Some of the units at the Argosy Hotel were rented daily, but a few are long term rentals. Those residents are already looking for new homes.
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