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City plan to force sale of property delayed

DAYTONA BEACH -- City efforts to condemn and force the sale of three properties for a new $115 million project on the Boardwalk will have to wait.

Circuit Judge John Watson postponed the start of a civil trial Wednesday because of a death in the family of one of the attorneys involved in the case.

"Hopefully, we can get it rescheduled," said Bill Geary, the Los Angeles-based developer of the Boardwalk project.

Daytona Beach is suing on behalf of Geary to acquire the Midway Fun Center and Fun Fair go-kart rides owned by Jim Mathas of Jacksonville and Captain Darrell's Oyster Bar and Restaurant owned by Kalliope Joanos of Tallahassee.

Geary wants to build two, 250-unit condo-hotel towers on the Boardwalk north of Main Street. The project, approved by city commissioners two years ago, includes 50,000 square feet of restaurant space.

City and business leaders consider the project as the next step in transforming a seedy, aging tourist area once known for pedophiles into a family and convention destination. Work already has begun with expansion of the Daytona Beach Hilton, formerly The Adam's Mark Resort, and the Ocean Walk project. Volusia County is working on expanding the Ocean Center to host larger conferences and exhibits.

A previous lawsuit to acquire Joyland Amusements and Lisa's Gifts for the Boardwalk project from siblings Dino Paspalakis and Lisa Psaros was settled in October.

Most of the details of that settlement were sealed in a confidentiality agreement. Property records show Geary paid $2.6 million, and Paspalakis said the deal allows his family to remain in business on the Boardwalk in the new project.

On Tuesday, Judge Watson released the details of the Paspalakis-Psaros settlement to attorneys in the Mathas-Joanos case, but the records remain sealed to the public.

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