Also in Business Observer: Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Aldi, Flagler Dental Associates, Blue Heron, BAC, Flagler Power Equipment
The Flagler County Chamber of Commerce has sold its building in front of the airport for $1.85 million, becoming a tenant instead of a landlord. According to President Rebecca DeLorenzo, the sale strengthens the chamber’s financial position and allows it refocus on its core mission, which is to advocate for local businesses.
“We are workshopping and working with focus groups and our committees to come up with a membership engagement plan, to be more proactive in the community, and help our businesses even more,” she said. “It will be a more laser-focused chamber.”
The chamber, which incorporated in 1962, built the building in 2006. The sale to Francisco Quesney was finalized Oct. 24, after some hurricane-related delays. The original asking price was $2.1 million.
Almost half of all chambers around the country are tenants and do not own their own buildings, DeLorenzo said, so it’s not an unusual setup. Being a landlord was also time-consuming.
The sale also closes the book on the phone book enterprise, which had accrued about $40,000 in debt according to a presentation in July, when the chamber first announced it intended to sell the building.
DeLorenzo said the phone book made $1 million per year in the early days, but it declined to a quarter of that over the years, leading to the chamber deciding to discontinue the phone book, with the last one having been published in January.
Although the building is sold, all the tenants are staying put. Politis and Matovina Law is in Suite A and will be expanding to Suite B, as well, after the Tourist Development Council vacated. Office Divvy shares part of Suite B, with the chamber in Suite C and Career Source in suites D and E.
Starbucks to be demolished, moved across Island Walk
Starbucks, located at the southern entrance of Island Walk Shopping Center, is undergoing big changes. A $500,000 permit was applied for last week to demolish the existing building, at 216 Palm Coast Parkway NE. A manager at the store said she was unaware of any time frame for the work to be done.
On the Island Walk website, Starbucks is shown to be planned to be house temporarily for nine months in two suites on the eastern end of the shopping center, close to the Old Kings Road entrance.
Blue Heron celebrates one year in business
The Blue Heron Beachfront Bistro celebrated its one-year anniversary Friday, Oct. 28, at 909 N. Oceanshore Blvd., Flagler Beach. Call 439-9990.
Co-owner Patsy Rainey said the bistro’s first murder-mystery dinner, “A Night at the Opera,” was a “huge success.” Other such events are being planned.
“Since the hurricane, business in Flagler Beach has slowed down,” she wrote in an email. “We would love to let people know we survived the storm.”
Candy for soldiers: Donate through Nov. 10
Flagler Dental Associates is hosting its fifth-annual Candy Buy Back program Nov. 1-10. Dr. Ryan Smith said the company will pay children $1 for every five pounds of candy they turn in. The unopened candy is being collected at both Flagler Dental Associates locations during regular business hours and will be sent overseas to deployed soldiers. Visit flaglerdentalassociates.com. Visit one of the two offices: Flagler Dental North, 30 Office Park Drive; or Flagler Dental South, 97 Flagler Plaza Drive.
Free Palm Coast BAC workshop on franchise ownership: Nov. 10
The Palm Coast Business Assistance Center’s free workshop, “Is Franchise Ownership Right for You?”, has been rescheduled to Nov. 10. (It was postponed from early October because of the hurricane.) The workshop will be 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10, at Palm Coast City Hall, Small Business Development Center, 160 Lake Ave. Register for the free workshop at palmcoastbac.com.
Heidi Simos, a coach with The Entrepreneur’s Source, will be the presenter. The workshop is sponsored by the Florida SBDC, SCORE, The Entrepreneur’s Source and the Palm Coast BAC. A Q&A with local franchisee Christine Kraus from the Smoothie King on Palm Coast Parkway will be part of the workshop, as well.
Flagler Power Equipment sees surge in generator interest
The week before and after Hurricane Matthew hit, many people contacted Flagler Power Equipment, frantically trying to get their generators to start. Some customers cried or yelled out of frustration, according to an email from the company.
Some things to remember in the future: Keep generators out of your home and garage. Move them away from your home; exhaust fumes can go through your attic. Do not stand in water when plugging in the electrical cords. Watch out for hot mufflers, which can burn holes into garage doors. Do not add fuel while generator is running. Do not overload your generator: It can only turn on so many times, so be aware of how many watts it can handle.
To store the generator at the end of the season, do the following: Check the spark plug, air filter and oil and replace for storage. Do not store the generator with gasoline; try products like TruFuel or VP, which have a two-year shelf life. Invest in an outlet that can be put in your garage next to your electrical box, into which you can plug your generator; ask a local electrician for help.
Visit flaglerpowereq.com or call 446-9516.
Dunkin Donuts, Aldi apply for permits
Among the commercial permit applications last week through the city of Palm Coast were a $702,000 permit for Dunkin Donuts/Baskin Robbins at 1310 Palm Coast Parkway SW; and another for Aldi Grocery Store, for $1.2 million, at 5095 E. State Road 100.
Thirteen building permits were also issued last week for single-family residences in Palm Coast. The most expensive was to D.R. Horton for $360,000 at 17 Waterfront Court.