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- 2014 - January - 14th -
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Rendering of the renovation of 120 E. Forsyth St.

Downtown office building to become restaurant

By Max Marbut, Staff Writer

The developer who converted the W.A. Knight Building along West Adams Street into loft apartments is taking on another Downtown re-use project.

Mike Langton, president of Langton Associates, said he closed Friday on the Old Republic National Title Insurance Co. building at 120 E. Forsyth St., next door to the Florida Theatre.

Langton said he and his partners paid $450,000 for the two-story, 11,000-square-foot office building and plans to spend about $2 million for the renovations.

Plans include an upscale restaurant with a sidewalk café on the ground floor. Another possibility is a rooftop bar, Langton said, but so far he has not signed a lease with any tenant.

“I had two letters of intent, but they both backed out,” Langton said.

He plans to begin interior demolition after March 1, when the title company relocates its offices to 121 W. Forsyth St. The building could open as early as October.

Langton is seeking incentives from the city for the project. He said he hopes the Downtown Investment Authority will approve a $100,000 Retail Enhancement Program grant Wednesday. He also is seeking $75,000 from the city Historic Trust Fund for the project.

Langton converted the W.A. Knight Building into 12 loft apartments and has a restaurant tenant and a cocktail lounge tenant on the ground floor.

He said Monday this month marks the first month all of the apartments and all of the retail space have been leased.

“For the first time in 14 years, I have turned a profit and I won’t have to put any money into the building,” said Langton. “I have paid the price of being a pioneer.”

The goal for Langton and his partners is to eventually purchase and renovate five historic buildings Downtown, he said.

City Council is considering legislation to designate the building a local historic landmark.

mmarbut@baileypub.com

(904) 356-2466

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