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West Volusia business highlights for 2017

BRIGHT AND AIRY — The interior of the new Subway shop in DeLand follows design guidelines the parent company introduced earlier this year.

BRIGHT AND AIRY — The interior of the new Subway shop in DeLand follows design guidelines the parent company introduced earlier this year.
BEACON PHOTOS/JOE CREWS

GATOR TRAINING — Nathan Sweeting works with Trapper, a nearly 13-foot American alligator, at Smooth Waters Wildlife Park in DeLeon Springs. Sweeting says he’s training Trapper to pose and react to commands.

GATOR TRAINING — Nathan Sweeting works with Trapper, a nearly 13-foot American alligator, at Smooth Waters Wildlife Park in DeLeon Springs. Sweeting says he’s training Trapper to pose and react to commands.

OFFICIALLY OPEN — Melanie Perez with MedExpress is assisted by DeLand Mayor Bob Apgar in cutting a ceremonial ribbon to officially open the new MedExpress Urgent Care Center in DeLand.

OFFICIALLY OPEN — Melanie Perez with MedExpress is assisted by DeLand Mayor Bob Apgar in cutting a ceremonial ribbon to officially open the new MedExpress Urgent Care Center in DeLand.

Before we ring in 2018, The Beacon is taking one last look at some of the business news we reported on during 2017. What follows, in no particular order, are a few of the highlights of the year that’s now ending.

 

Culinary openings and coming attractions

A new Subway restaurant opened Nov. 1 at 1204 N. Woodland Blvd., next door to its longtime former home. It seats more than three times as many customers as its former location.

C’s Waffles opened this week at 413 S. Woodland Blvd. in Downtown DeLand. It’s one of six family-run C’s Waffles in Volusia County; the others are in Southeast Volusia.

Still on the menu: A new Checkers drive-thru restaurant should soon be serving burgers and fries where a Sunoco station once stood at 1625 S. Volusia Ave. in Orange City; a new Church’s Chicken restaurant next summer should replace a shuttered Sonic Drive-In on North Woodland Boulevard; and a company-owned and -operated Waffle House slated for an empty lot at 1120 N. Woodland Blvd. is scheduled to open in late 2018.

 

Expanded health care options

West Virginia-based MedExpress Urgent Care opened its 22nd Florida location — its first in Volusia County — at 1328 N. Woodland Blvd. in DeLand. A ribbon-cutting was held May 23, and the center saw its first patients the following day.

A grand opening was held July 11 — nearly a week after it began seeing patients — for the  Florida Hospital Centra Care urgent-care facility located at 1360 Saxon Blvd. in Orange City. The 36th Florida Hospital Centra Care in Florida is the second in West Volusia, joining another that opened the previous November in DeLand.

Orlando Family Physicians, which claims to be Central Florida’s largest Hispanic medical group, held a grand-opening celebration at its DeBary facility July 15. The group’s 14th medical center is in a former bank building at 21 S. Charles Richard Beall Blvd.

 

Ch-ch-ch-changes

A number of businesses underwent changes of one form or another this year.

St. Johns River Marina & Resort, a large marina and RV campground at 2999 W. State Road 44 west of DeLand, is now an affiliate of Kampgrounds of America. The resort now is in KOA’s listings as DeLand/St. Johns River KOA.

The DeLand Ace Hardware store at 245 S. Woodland Blvd. was sold. New owner Richard Anderson, who has owned the Orange City Ace Hardware for 32 years, promptly closed the business to completely renovate it inside and out. It reopened just after Thanksgiving.

Orlando-based Fairwinds Credit Union vacated its existing branch at 136 S. Woodland Blvd., which has no drive-thru lanes or on-site parking, and reopened in early December in a former SunTrust Bank building at 302 E. New York Ave., in front of the DeLand Plaza.

Goodwill Industries of Central Florida in November opened a larger retail store and a Job Connection Center at 1600 N. Woodland Blvd., providing its job training and placement services to West Volusia residents for the first time. The new facility also features a more spacious retail store, replacing the current location at 1560 N. Woodland Blvd.

The DeLand Hotel at 442 E. New York Ave. opened in September after a year’s worth of renovations. The hotel has vintage touches that harken back to its 1925 roots, and recently became the home of The Twisted Chopstick, which added dine-in options to its delivery or pickup orders of Japanese cuisine such as sushi and tempura.

At the end of August, owners Hari and Jenneffer Pulapaka began operating their award-winning Cress Restaurant at 103 W. Indiana Ave. in Downtown DeLand as a ticketed-event-only eatery, serving up “globally inspired food” four or five times a month rather than its previous three nights a week.

 

New businesses

A number of businesses new to West Volusia opened during 2017. Among them:

Crunch Fitness Deltona, a franchised full-service fitness center in Deltona Plaza;

DeLand Manor, an assisted-living facility at 245 S. Amelia Ave. in DeLand;

Fabrications, a new fabric-and-yarn shop, fiber-arts gallery and studio on West Wisconsin Avenue in Downtown DeLand;

Artesian Spring Riding Center, where horse owners and riders can board their animals and get certified training, at 2665 Old New York Ave. in DeLand;

Smooth Waters Wildlife Park at 4500 Reed St. in DeLeon Springs, where kids and adults get a chance to learn more about alligators, snakes, land tortoises and other scaly critters;

Morgan & Morgan, the personal-injury law firm based in Orlando, opened an office on the third floor of New York Plaza at 100 E. New York Ave. in Downtown DeLand; and

Sykes Enterprises Inc., headquartered in Tampa, took over the Frontier Communications center at 1398 S. Woodland Blvd. in DeLand when Sykes bought the Frontier unit that provided customer-support services for outside companies.

 

Anniversaries

Beauty Mark, a hair salon at the corner of East New York and South Alabama avenues in DeLand, could have roots going back 50 years, its current owners said in April. The salon is definitely 40 years old under their ownership, said Randy and Marlene Jackson.

Parkside Health and Rehabilitation Center in DeLand hit the half-century milestone this year. The facility first opened as DeLand Convalescent Center in 1967 at 451 S. Amelia Ave., and an expansion more than doubled its size in 1984.

— Joe Crews, joe@beacononlinenews.com

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