Insurance super company, Brown & Brown, made a promise in 2017 to build new headquarters in Daytona Beach. Just over a year after their announcement, site work officially began this two weeks ago at their new North Beach Street location.
The building, which has an estimated value of $37.2 million, will now be bigger than when it was first proposed. City site plans indicate the tower will measure in at 11 stories, an increase from the original 10. The campus will dominate nearly two city blocks along North Beach Street’s west side. The site, previously home to multiple local car dealerships, clocks in at an impressive 14 acres and 225,000 square feet.
“Call it 10½ floors,” said David Lotz, chief corporate counsel for Brown & Brown. “We want some sort of rooftop amenity like a deck or outdoor space.” This decision comes from a push to take advantage of views from the top of the building, verified through innovative aerial drone use.
A Closer Look
The company has also, in recent months, been acquiring properties near its future headquarters. These include some older single-family homes and an old single-story commercial building just north of the campus.
“Everything is going according to game plan,” commented Chairman J. Hyatt Brown. He did, however, acknowledge that beginning construction had taken longer than anticipated. He rested blame for this largely on delays in obtaining permits. “We’re going to raise the site some,” he said. In order to do this, they they will be bringing in fill to protect the building from potential flooding.
As is common with a project like this, the building process brings with it a need for an environmental impact assessment. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection called for a voluntary environmental cleanup of the sites in July. Brown & Brown representatives also confirmed the development site suffered from soil problems, adding to the amount of fill dirt which needed to be trucked in.
This site will be home to more than 200 trees and feature a huge amount of landscaping work. Stormwater retention ponds and design features built to lessen potential flooding will complement these. This is important, not only to Brown & Brown but to the environment around where the campus is set to be built.
In terms of location, the office tower will be in the southeast section of the campus. The building itself will be built with additional room and support for potential towers to be added in the future. In the west portion of the campus, parking space is set to complement the main building, making it more accessible overall. “We’re building a campus for our teammates. We don’t want a nice building and a vapid parking lot,” said Lotz. “We want a nice campus for the city.”
Brown & Brown, and the Daytona Beach Community
But facilities like this aren’t just about impressive new buildings for a select few. Brown & Brown’s new headquarters is projected to bring 625 workers to the area, minimum. This is in addition to the 300+ people already employed at the agency’s current headquarters in Ridgewood Ave, Daytona Beach. Obviously, this has huge implications for the local economy, with new jobs expected to pay out around $41,300 a year.
Looking ahead, Brown predicted a move-in date of around October 1, 2020, for the new building, with vertical construction expected in the first quarter of 2019.
Though the building will likely value at more than $37 million, representatives have confirmed they don’t know the actual construction cost yet. This is due to there being no general contractor, as of yet. Estimates put the cost, including site work, at between 30 and $35 million.
Vice Chair of the Downtown Development Authority, Sheryl Cook, weighed in on the building’s value. “Both sites had been abandoned for years and had become eyesores. Now they’re getting ready to bring new life.”
Hyatt Brown and his wife Cici have also donated $15 million for improvements to the city’s Riverfront Park. This is the area across the street from the location, and is important to its overall aesthetic. With this in place and the building’s impact on the local economy, Daytona Beach residents have responded well to the building’s announcement.
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