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Jax Daily Record Thursday, Aug. 6, 202012:40 PM EST

JWB Real Estate Capital buys historic Federal Reserve Bank Building Downtown

The real estate investors led by Alex Sifakis plan a mixed-use project.

Downtown investor JWB Real Estate Capital bought the Federal Reserve Bank Building at 424 N Hogan St.

Through 218 W. Church LLC, JWB paid $1.75 million for the historic Federal Reserve Bank structure Aug. 3. It was built in 1922.

The bank is next to the historic Seminole Building, anchored by Sweet Pete’s candy shop, that JWB bought in January.

JWB Real Estate President Alex Sifakis

JWB Real Estate President Alex Sifakis said the Federal Reserve Bank Building property was not on the market.

“We reached out to the seller directly,” Sifakis said in an email interview Aug. 6.

JWB bought the vacant three-story, roughly 18,000-square-foot building from Tbsop LLC, led by Jim Wiss. Tbsop holds a mortgage and security agreement of $800,000.

The Federal Reserve Bank Building is next to 218 W. Church St. on the same block, but Sifakis did not say anything about that structure.

The Seminole and Federal Reserve Bank buildings are opposite City Hall.

“We are working on a project that we think will be a real asset Downtown,” Sifakis said.

He said it would be a mixed-use development, but he did not have details or a time frame.

“A key part of revitalizing any Downtown is clustering development,” he said.

The building also is close to the proposed Independent Life Building, Ambassador Hotel and Jones Bros. Furniture projects that include apartments, hotel rooms and retail space.

Sifakis said he wanted to thank Mayor Lenny Curry and Chief Administrative Officer Brian Hughes “on the commitment they have shown to Downtown.”

“That has really given us the confidence to make these investments,” Sifakis said.

Through Tbsop, Jim and Ellen Wiss paid $714,000 in 2018 for the Federal Reserve Bank Building, gutted the interior and planned to renovate it.

Wiss said Aug. 6 that they consider the building “one of the gems Downtown.”

“Alex told us his group was going to move along quickly. We said that helps the neighborhood. That's a positive for us,” Jim Wiss said.

In February, Jim and Ellen Wiss bought a nearly full city block of the First Baptist Church’s Downtown campus nearby for a potential $25 million mixed-use development.

Through EJPC LLC, they paid $1.13 million to buy a portion of the church’s land bounded by Beaver, Julia, Ashley and Hogan streets. They bought two buildings — a four-story, about 20,000-square structure built in 1954 and a two-story, 10,000-square-foot building built in 1947.

Jim Wiss said they plan a “couple hundred apartments and some retail,” pending resolution of parking.

“We are optimistic,” Wiss said. Despite COVID-19 affecting deals, “we are exploring some other options in the area. It's all positive so far.”

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