Daytona Beach wants grant to revitalize downtown

By Saul Saenz , Volusia County Reporter
Last Updated: Thursday, January 05, 2017, 10:16 PM EST

Daytona Beach city leaders want to revitalize the downtown riverfront area to increase foot traffic.

  • Daytona Beach applying for a $400,00 grant
  • Grant would add landscaping, park benches and other amenities for riverfront
  • Part of multi-million dollar master plan for revitalization

That increase would help merchants like 37-year-old RJ Murray.

Murray co-owns Three Brothers Boards, a paddle board business on Beach Street in downtown Daytona Beach. He says business along beach street is slow this time of year.

"It's real seasonal this street. So, summer, spring, so much busier down here. So I wish we could do something to bring them here all year around," said Murray.

City leaders gave the green light this week to apply for a $400,000 grant to add landscaping, park benches and other amenities to the riverfront.

Marie Zachary, 84, has been shopping here for as long as she can remember. She says little has changed.

"The architecture itself, the building fronts, that remains the same. For as long as I can remember," said Zachary.

Stores on Beach Street north of International Speedway Boulevard sit across the street from the Halifax River. Merchants say there’s very little for customers to see when they walk out of their stores.

The grant is part of a larger multi-million dollar master plan to breathe life into the downtown Riverfront area, with condominiums and other businesses.

Murray says Daytona Beach visitors could be staying away because little change creates little interest.

"Right now we kind have that old, kinda beach town feel," Murray said. "So I think giving this area a facelift making it look newer would bring more people down here."

City leaders say the $400,000 grant would kickstart the city’s downtown revitalization program.