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DAYTONA BEACH, FL-In a trend that is picking up steam among revenue-strapped cities nationwide, elected officials in Daytona Beach, FL have voted to use about $12 million of taxpayers’ money to help finance a proposed $115 million redevelopment of the city’s 73-year-old boardwalk area.

The controversial issue centers on the city repaying $12 million in bond debt by using future tax revenue from the project planned by developer Bill Geary, president of Los Angeles-based Carlsberg Management Co. and Boardwalk Convention Hotel Partners Ltd. Taxpayers would eventually benefit by the city having a larger tax base from corporate revenue, city planners tell GlobeSt.com.

City commissioners approved the project May 21, marking the second time in 20 years that Geary is attempting the undertaking. Financing problems stalled the first effort. He was the only national developer to accept the city’s new advertised proposal of the project, city planning staffers confirm to GlobeSt.com.

Geary plans to build two 250-unit hotels, an undetermined number of timeshare units, about 50,000 sf of retail and restaurant space, carnival rides and an arcade. A tentative ground-breaking date hasn’t been announced but area construction industry estimators tell GlobeSt.com a project of this magnitude would take at least four years to complete, from permit-pulling to certificate of occupancy.

The project would change the face of the city’s oceanfront area and be the most ambitious undertaking of its kind in recent Daytona Beach history, according to area retail brokers.

Geary couldn’t be reached at GlobeSt.com’s publication deadline. But city staffers say he has told the commission he plans to buy the boardwalk’s pier from Daytona Beach property owner Theresa Doan and the Adventure Landing water-amusement park north of Main Street from Jacksonville, FL-based Adventure Entertainment Co. The asking price on the pier is $3 million; the tag on Adventure Landing, $2.25 million.

Geary plans to transfer ownership title to the pier to the city after he buys the property and then lease the property back for a token amount and a promise to pay all development, maintenance and insurance costs, according to a published report. Combined insurance and maintenance costs are projected at $1 million annually.

He projects income from the amusement component of the project could generate a profit of $400,000 per year, the developer has told city officials.

Daytona Beach, internationally known for its Nascar racing events, has a permanent resident population of 488,645, according to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey statistics. A total 30,938 people move into the Daytona Beach area annually, with an average 85 new residents arriving daily.

The decision by the Daytona Beach city commission to fund a portion of Geary’s planned project is in line with the city of Orlando’s ongoing economic incentive packages offered periodically to developers embracing new projects.

Orlando’s most recent incentives package totaled $4 million in property tax rebates and development fee credits to Windermere, FL developer Kevin Azzouz who plans a $120 million, mixed-use enterprise at MetroWest near Universal Orlando in southwest Orlando.

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