Roger Bull: Plans afoot in San Marco, downtown

A couple of significant projects are in the works for downtown and San Marco.

Beneficial Communities has purchased three lots on Houston Street, between Broad and Jefferson, where it plans to build low-income housing for senior citizens. The Sarasota company did not respond to requests for information, but Margie Seaman, who brokered the sale, said the company plans 72 units with funding coming from Florida Housing Finance Corp.

The company had won what’s essentially a lottery to get the funding, but kept getting extensions on the project. It paid $975,000 for the parcels which total half an acre.

SARASOTA AFFORDABLE HOUSING COMPANY CLOSES ON LA VILLA PROPERTY IN DOWNTOWN JAX
Jan. 4, 2017

A Sarasota-based multifamily company has purchased three lots in the Downtown neighborhood of LaVilla, according to property records. Beneficial Communities through the Houston Street Manor LP bought three lots near Houston and Jefferson streets from the Downtown Station LLC. The development, Houston Street Manor, will be senior apartments consisting of five levels of residential over two levels of parking. The development will be 72 units....

FORMER HISTORIC BROTHEL PROPERTY SOLD FOR DEVELOPMENT
Dec. 30, 2016

The property at 615 Houston Street has just been sold at a real estate closing say sources close to the deal. One of the last remaining bordellos of the Ward Street (now Houston Street) Bordello district is slated for demolition.

The building was part of a three parcel sale, and the developer plans on building a multi story senior citizen housing complex on the combined property....

Jacksonville commercial broker lists several historic buildings for sale

Feb 23, 2016, 2:57pm EST 

Three new properties with historic ties to Jacksonville have just been listed by Seaman Realty and Management Co.: Riverdale Inn Bed & Breakfast, a condo for sale at the Napier Apartments and the Baywater Plaza, a nearly fully leased office building.

 

The Baywater Plaza, 136 E. Bay St., sits across the street from the Bostwick Building, where the Cowford Chophouse plans to open late this summer. Margie Seaman, CEO and founder of Seaman Realty, said the building has about 30,000 square feet of space with a 35-car surface parking lot on Bay. The ground floor has about 9,000 square feet available with 14-foot ceilings and direct access to the parking lot...

 

Writer Derek Gilliam is a Reporter for The Jacksonville Business Journal covering commercial and residential real estate and related industries as well as financial services.

Jim Robinson

Director of Commercial Real Estate

Seaman Realty & Management Company

One of former Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown’s administrative directors has been hired by a Jacksonville commercial real estate company.

Jim Robinson, former director of public works, will now be Seaman Realty’s director of commercial real estate, firm founder and president Margie Seaman announced Monday. 

 

Seaman Realty specializes in Downtown property, but also brokers deals in the Riverside, Five Points and Avondale areas.

"I am excited that Jim was able to make this monumental change in career at such a pivotal time in the evolution of our beautiful Downtown, and his skill set and vast scope of knowledge will be an enormous value-add for our customers and property owners,” Seaman said.

While director of public works, Robinson supervised a staff of 510 people with a budget of $200 million.

"Working for Margie Seaman is a synthesis of everything that I have done in my life professionally,” said Robinson in a news release.

Writer Derek Gilliam is a Reporter for The Jacksonville Business Journal covering commercial and residential real estate and related industries as well as financial services.

Is Sweet Pete's the 'second wave' of retail in Downtown Jacksonville?

Apr 2, 2014, 5:57pm EDT

Sweet Pete’s move Downtown could be the signal of a new day for urban retail in Jacksonville. The all-natural Springfield candy shop is planning to lease 331 W. Forsyth St.from developer Mike Langton, who’s under contract to buy the property. The move comes in the wake of a dramatic split between partners Allison and Pete Behringer on one hand and Dane Baird, who owns their current location in Springfield, on the other. The listing agent for the Forsyth Street building, Margie Seaman, said she sees the Sweet Pete’s deal as a major boon for urban retail. “It’s as close to a brand name as we’re going to get for a while,” said Seaman, national director of commercial real estate services for Sellers Realty Group. “It’s an iconic brand name for Jacksonville...

Writer Ashley Gurbal Kritzer covers real estate for The Tampa Bay Business Journal.

Student housing could be coming to this Downtown Jacksonville building

Nov 16, 2015, 2:53pm EST

A 104-year-old building on Jacksonville’s West Adams Street has been sold and could soon house dormitories for Florida State College at Jacksonville, which is asking for $1.2 million in city money.

Downtown Investment Authority CEO Aundra Wallace said former building owner Marion Graham sold the property at 20 W. Adams St. to Eugene Profit. Profit, a former NFL player, also owns 100 E. Bay Street, whose main tenant is Peterbrooke Chocolatier...

Writer Derek Gilliam is a Reporter for The Jacksonville Business Journal covering commercial and residential real estate and related industries as well as financial services.

New coffee shop plans 'flagship' store at The Landing

May 9, 2016, 8:03am EDT

A new coffee concept has signed a lease on the former Starbucks location at the Jacksonville Landing. Public House Coffee, which will be opening its first location in Brunswick, Georgia this month, has plans to open its second location at The Landing in July.

 

Dana Atkins, who started the company, said he had been looking for a location in the urban core, and building out in a former Starbucks location presented a unique opportunity. "We were looking at sites in the north urban core, and it turned out that an old Starbucks is a great place to go," Atkins said. "We think it's very efficient."

The basic concept of Public House will be espresso-based coffee drinks and iced drinks, as well as drip coffee from beans roasted by the company, which it will also sell wholesale in the store...

Writer Alexa Epitropoulos, reporter for The Jacksonville Buisiness Journal covers entertainment, including tourism, sports business and the hospitality industry as

well as health care and nonprofits.

'Chic' cigar lounge coming to Downtown Jacksonville

Nov 13, 2013, 2:34pm EST

Cigar aficinados in Jacksonville will have a new place to puff come early 2014, when former cocktail lounge LIT Downtown is reinvented as Downtown Cigar Lounge.

A group of partners led by Jacksonville music and entertainment consultant Troy McNair plans to lease both floors of the 99-year-old building, at 11 N. Ocean St. The second floor tenant, Smith and Surrency Digital Marketing, is moving out, said Margie Seaman, national director of commercial real estate services for Sellers Realty Group. Seaman is representing both the landlord and the tenant in the cigar bar lease, which will be for nine years.

McNair said he hopes to open in early 2014, after the construction of a $60,000 humidor, made of Spanish cedar, on the second floor. The first floor will be a “chic cigar lounge,” he said, featureing cigar, wine and chocolate pairings. Cigars will range from $5 or $6 to a high end 24-carat gold leaf cigar that could be priced up to $180.

Writer Ashley Gurbal Kritzer covers real estate for The Tampa Bay Business Journal.

Artist's rendering of the downtown skyline illuminated in Jacksonville Jaguars teal colors

Downtown advocates pitch idea of illuminating skyline towers

Sep 23, 2013, 11:40am EDT

Call it a light bulb moment for a group of urban core advocates.

A subcomittee of Jax Chamber’s Downtown council has proposed an initiative dubbed Illuminate Jax, in which the buildings that define the city skyline — from the CSX Corp. headquarters to the Hyatt Regency Riverfront Jacksonville — are illuminated at night, with light displays that range from Jaguars teal-and-gold to “River City Blue,” which plays off the lights on the Main Street Bridge. 

Illuminate Jax is in the very preliminary stages, with the group presenting it to the Downtown council at a Friday breakfast meeting. But Margie Seaman, national director of commercial real estate services for Sellers Realty Group in Jacksonville, said it’s already gathering interest from building owners and potential sponsors of the initiative. Seaman said two building owners have requested meetings with the team to learn more about the project, though she didn’t identify which properties. “Someone said to me, ‘This would make sense if we were 90 percent occupied,’” Seaman said, “I said, ‘No, it makes sense if you’re 10 percent occupied.’ This is a marketing plan...

Writer Ashley Gurbal Kritzer covers real estate for The Tampa Bay Business Journal.

New bar filling vacant space Downtown

Mar 12, 2013, 7:00am EDT

A speakeasy bourbon bar is coming to Downtown Jacksonville, filling a storefront that’s sat vacant for more than a decade.

Samuel Linn and Devon Nolan, principals of The Volstead, have signed a 10-year lease for 2,575 square feet at 115 W. Adams St., next to Pho in the W.A. Knight Building, said Margie Seaman, national director of commercial real estate services for Sellers Realty Group in Jacksonville.  Seaman represented the building owner, Mike Langton, in the transaction. Other than the few days each year that Langton donated the space to the Jacksonville Film Festival, it’s been vacant for 12 years.  Seaman said Linn and Nolan will invest nearly $200,000 building out the space...

 

Writer Ashley Gurbal Kritzer covers real estate for The Tampa Bay Business Journal.

Indochine to open new concept noodle bar in former Chew space

Jul 27, 2012, 5:19pm EDT 

The owners of Downtown Thai restaurant Indochine will open a new concept restaurant in the former Chew space at 117 W. Adams St.

The new restaurant will be an Asian noodle bar, said Margie Seaman, national director of commercial real estate services for Sellers Realty Group Inc. in Jacksonville. Indochine opened at 21 E. Adams St. in fall 2010. “It shows that a company can have organic growth Downtown and become so successful that they want to open another restaurant a stone’s throw from their first success,” Seaman said.

Seaman represented both the Indochine partners and property owner Mike Langton in the transaction...

Writer Ashley Gurbal Kritzer covers real estate for The Tampa Bay Business Journal.

Margie Seaman outside the Old Republic Title building at 120 E. Forsyth St.

Downtown retail problem has solution, but needs money

Sep 6, 2013, 6:00am EDT 

It’s a problem that plagues every sector of commercial real estate in Downtown Jacksonville: Rents are too low and costs are too high to make most deals work. But when it comes to retail, the city has already solved the problem; it just hasn’t funded the solution.

Under the 2006 Downtown Development Business Investment Program, the city can give grants or loans up to $250,000 for beautification — to improve spaces to make them usable for “first- and second-floor retail, restaurant and entertainment-themed business” in city-designated Downtown commercial corridors — but no funding was designated for the program.

Without the city’s help in closing the gap between market rents and renovation costs, real estate experts say, vacant Downtown storefronts will likely sit dark for the foreseeable future. On his first day on the job, Downtown Investment Authority CEO Aundra Wallace was asked about the challenge of attracting retail to Downtown Jacksonville...

Writer Ashley Gurbal Kritzer covers real estate for The Tampa Bay Business Journal.

DIA puts off retail enhancement program

Feb 26, 2014, 1:58pm EST

The Downtown Investment Authority's retail enhancement incentive program was sent back to the drawing board Wednesday.

DIA CEO Aundra Wallace presented to the board a scoring matrix for proposed projects that gave the most weight to a business plan. His goal, he said, was to have the retail enhancement program approved by City Council by the end of April. But board members and City Councilwoman Lori Boyer raised concerns over the scoring matrix, and the board ultimately deferred action on the plan. One concern was the mingling of two separate issues — the viability of business in proposed projects versus improvements to Downtown real estate.

The state of Downtown's historic storefronts is what makes retail deals so difficult, Margie Seaman, national director of commercial real estate with Sellers Realty Group in Jacksonville, told the board. Restoring those storefronts is so costly, Seaman said, that it pushes rents higher than what the market will bear...

Writer Ashley Gurbal Kritzer covers real estate 

for The Tampa Bay Business Journal.