Bob Koslow, news-journalonline

Bob Koslow


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Past articles by Bob:

Marina View eatery opening this month in old Blue Grotto space in Daytona

DAYTONA BEACH — Marina View, a new eatery at 125 Basin St. in Daytona Beach, opens July 18. It will replace the Blue Grotto restaurant and nightclub that closed at the end of 2015 when the lease expired on the city-owned property at Halifax Harbor Marina. A new five-year lease with two five-year renewal options was approved in December for Acrews Inc., the operators of the planned restaurant.… → Read More

Spacious custom home available in Ormond Beach

ORMOND BEACH - Expanded three times from its original 1950-built structure, the custom house for sale at 599 John Anderson Drive in Ormond Beach offers plenty of space, inside and out.“The original house was the kitchen, dining, living room, three bedrooms and a garage,” said Jocelyn Ludington, the property's listing agent with Miller Real Estate in Ormond Beach. “Now there's seven bedrooms and… → Read More

Increased firearms demand spurs growth for Volusia gun makers

DAYTONA BEACH — Volusia County is home to a small but growing number of manufacturers tied to the firearms industry. When a tragedy strikes, such as the June 12 mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, those involved in the local gun industry acknowledge viewing the events with mixed feelings. On the one hand, they commiserate with the families of the victims and feel horrified about the… → Read More

Jon Hall Chevrolet wins GM award

DAYTONA BEACH - Jon Hall Chevrolet has won a General Motors "Dealer of the Year" award, given annually to the top 2 percent of best-performing GM auto dealers in the nation based on sales and customer satisfaction.Jon Hall Chevrolet at 551 N. Nova Road in Daytona Beach has won the award 14 consecutive years, since its inception, said Glenn Ritchey Sr., the dealership's owner and president.“We… → Read More

Port Orange World of Beer to become Cajun restaurant

PORT ORANGE - Owners of the World of Beer franchise at Tuscan Village Shoppes closed the pub Thursday night to convert it to a Cajun-influenced restaurant and bar.“What we bought four or five years ago and where corporate is headed are different directions,” said Jack Holcomb, a partner with Lance Jenkins in the local pub franchise at 3510 Nova Road in Port Orange. “I would have had to spend a… → Read More

Next generation prepares to take over family-run realty firm

ORANGE CITY — Richard and JoAnn Darling founded Blue Springs Realty Inc. in 1984 and have been running it ever since.However, a new set of family members are preparing to eventually take over the boutique real estate brokerage at 1995 N. Volusia Ave. in Orange City.Their adult children, Andrew Darling and Gretchen Bryant, are both licensed Realtors with the firm. Andrew earned his broker's… → Read More

Modern colonial features acreage, interior space

DELAND - The luxury custom house for sale at 1485 Mercers Fernery Road has plenty of space inside and out and a cook's dream kitchen that even includes a wood-burning brick pizza oven."It's a great place. The kitchen is amazing and has everything you could want," said Terry Bailey, the property's listing agent with ERA Grizzard Real Estate's DeLand office. "It has that country feel with all the… → Read More

University High grad wins car in Excellence in Education Challenge

DAYTONA BEACH — Vianca Santos has a new car for traveling this fall to attend college in New York City. Santos, a recent graduate of University High School in Orange City, was the grand prize winner Thursday night of the eighth annual Excellence in Education Challenge, which is open to high school juniors and seniors in Volusia and Flagler counties. Santos will pick up her new 2016 Dodge Dart on… → Read More

VyStar Credit Union may open Ormond branch by summer's end

ORMOND BEACH - Thirteen years after Volusia County residents became eligible to join VyStar Credit Union, the Jacksonville-based financial institution is nearing completion of its first branch in the county.The general contractor, Dana B. Kenyon Co., expects to turn the building at 1301 W. Granada Blvd. in Ormond Beach over to the credit union “by the end of the summer,” project manager Jamison… → Read More

First Green Bank appoints new CEO

First Green Bank, a community bank with five branches including one in Ormond Beach, has hired a new chief executive officer. Keith Costello succeeds the bank's founding CEO, Ken LaRoe, who will focus on his role as CEO of parent company First Green Bancorp., which is looking to expand by possibly acquiring other businesses. First Bank, originally based in Mount Dora, also recently moved its… → Read More

Boating bounces back: This weekend's boat show arrives with sales at 8-year high

DAYTONA BEACH — The spring version of the Florida Boat Show comes to Daytona Beach for the first time Friday and runs through Sunday at Halifax Harbor Marina, just as the recreational boating industry is returning to levels not seen since the Great Recession. Consumer boating spending nationally is at a 10-year high, boat sales are their highest in eight years and boat registrations in Florida… → Read More

Summer jobs bank needs more job postings

ORMOND BEACH - The Ormond Beach Community Foundation needs more businesses and organizations to register with its “Take this Job and Work It” program and to post their available student summer jobs and paid internships.The nonprofit foundation started its free online jobs bank this year to help link together high school and college students looking for summer employment with businesses having… → Read More

Privacy, space highlight Sugar Mill Plantation listing

FLAGLER BEACH - Located on a cul-de-sac, next to a state park, the custom house for sale at 35 S. Sugar Mill Lane has plenty of privacy along with plenty of space, inside and out.“This spacious home provides classic elegance with contemporary touches,” said Matt Wilson, the property's listing agent with Coquina Real Estate & Construction in Flagler Beach. “There are lots of places to sit and… → Read More

Sale of vacant lots may mean turnaround in works for downtown Daytona

DAYTONA BEACH — For years, the two fenced-up blocks at the north end of downtown Daytona Beach have stymied efforts to revitalize the city's historic business district. Now there's reason to hope those days may be coming to an end. A Houston, Texas-based company called Silvestri Investments recently paid $2.1 million for the adjacent properties, which at one time were home to two separately… → Read More

Understated elegance highlights Venetian Bay listing

NEW SMYRNA BEACH - “Understated elegance” is how the listing agents describe the house for sale at 3581 Grande Tuscany Way.The house is in the gated Tuscany Reserve section of the Venetian Bay master-planned community in New Smyrna Beach.“It's a wonderful lakefront house with lots of living spaces,” said Kelly Beechler, who is one of the property's listing agents, along with her husband, Tom… → Read More

Contractor carves niche restoring life to old homes

NEW SMYRNA BEACH - Island Dream Homes bills itself as a custom homebuilder along with doing remodels, renovations and additions,Its most recognizable work probably includes two commercial projects in New Smyrna Beach.The Edgewater-based contractor three years ago remodeled the 1946-built Black Dolphin Inn at 916 S. Riverside Drive.The three-year project converted a rundown five-bedroom mansion… → Read More

2016 on record pace for local auto sales

DAYTONA BEACH - Volusia-Flagler area auto dealers sold a record number of new vehicles in 2015 and could be poised to sell even more this year.One local dealership, Jon Hall Chevrolet in Daytona Beach, wound up becoming the fifth-highest volume retail seller of new Chevrolets in the nation last year.The dealership sold 3,702 new cars and trucks, up from 2,921 in 2014, the most in its history.“We… → Read More

FOR SALE: Volusia-Flagler area's 2nd-largest shopping center

PORT ORANGE — The Volusia-Flagler area's second-largest shopping center is for sale. The Pavilion at Port Orange, home to more than 60 retail stores, restaurants and businesses as well as a 14-screen movie theater, is on the selling block, a commercial real estate agent representing the sellers confirmed. “I'm not sure if the sellers have a minimum price, but the sale is going to be… → Read More

Green elements highlight Ormond Beach former showcase

ORMOND BEACH — The showcase house from the Volusia Building Industry Association’s 2011 Parade of Homes is now for sale at 3 Ashford Lakes Drive. The property has an Ormond Beach address, but it's actually just outside the city limits on the Flagler County side of the Hunter’s Ridge master-planned community west of Interstate 95. Ormond Beach-based Luxury Builders Inc. constructed the house in… → Read More

Orange City Sonic Drive-In set to reopen in May

ORANGE CITY - Sonic Drive-In is returning to west Volusia County after a four-year absence.And the chain's soon-to-be new location, which is set to open in early May, is the same one in Orange City where the old Sonic eatery closed in 2012.The one-acre property at 1221 Saxon Blvd., near Interstate 4, on the west side, was purchased April 13 for $1.3 million by a Ridgeland, Mississippi-based… → Read More