A non-existent bond market cannot finance the second phase of the Old Kings Road widening plus Wal-Mart’s own business model challenges have combined to delay a promising construction project.
February 25, 2007 – About three years ago, the City of Palm Coast identified a need to improve and widen Old Kings Road between SR 100 and Palm Coast Parkway. Even then, the road was deteriorating. Working with the city, the owners of land fronting Old Kings got together to pass an ordinance forming a special taxing district, geographically defined as all property fronting Old Kings. The purpose of this taxing district is to sell 30-year bonds to finance the road improvements, to be paid off by the land owners over 30 years.
In accordance with the agreement between the land owners and the city, the land owners would pay the amount necessary to upgrade the existing road to a 4-lane rural highway. A rural highway has no shoulders, curbs, gutters, or sidewalks. The city would cover the additional costs of upgrading the road to an urban highway, which would contain these added features.
Two years ago, the design contract was let. The city had to acquire the right of way, taking the additional land to allow the 4-lane road. Now, two years later, the design is still not completed. New requirements for storm water ponds will require land owners to give up more land. Land owners are displeased with the pace of progress of the engineering firm performing the work. The new City Manager, Jim Landon has lots of planning experience and the parties involved with the process expect the pace to quicken under his guidance. Construction on the southern end of the project should begin late this year.
The southern end of Old Kings, the portion south of the canal and old railroad track will be relocated as well as widened. For that section, Old Kings will be shifted to the west, towards and paralleling I95. This relocation and construction will be financed by Wal-mart. Relocation of Old Kings westward will allow a larger parcel on the east side of Old Kings for the new Supercenter and afford it greater visibility from I95.
Tied into this project are additional road improvements. First, the SR 100 DRI/PUD*, a large mixed-use development by JX Properties will include a 4-lane road from Rt. 100 (east of Old Kings), through JX’s development to intersect with Old Kings at the east entrance to Town Center at Palm Coast. JX will be responsible for adjusting the intersection so that the road from SR 100 DRI/PUD aligns properly with the Royal Palm extension near the canal. JX has DRI and PUD approval and has filed for preliminary plat approval. Second, Palm Coast Holdings, the developers of Town Center at Palm Coast, are committed to continue the four lane road westward under I95 to US 1, following Royal Palm.