“I’ve got mixed emotions, but it’s time to do it,” says owner Bud Sikes.
After 47 years working with the family business, Bud Sikes is selling the assets of Sikes & Stowe Downtown Collision and stepping out of the business Friday.
Auto-body repair shop Caliber Collision Centers will lease the property from Sikes and take over the assets Monday at 625 W. Monroe St.
“I’ve got mixed emotions, but it’s time to do it,” said Sikes, who turns 64 next month.
Sikes said Caliber Collision approached him to purchase the business.
“Business has been good,” he said. “It’s a good opportunity for us to do it now.”
Lewisville, Texas-based Caliber Collision applied to the city for a certificate of use Sept. 5 for a name/owner change at the address.
The paint and body repair shop will occupy the roughly 10,000-square-foot structure, which was built in 1997.
It is across the street from the Duval County Courthouse.
Sikes & Stowe says on its website that the third-generation family company has served the Jacksonville area, providing collision repairs, since 1926.
And it’s working on the vehicles of fourth-generation customers.
Bud Sikes, who is John E. Sikes III, is the president and owner.
He took over the business after the 1999 death of his father, John E. Sikes Jr.
John E. Sikes Sr. opened the shop in 1926 in Downtown Jacksonville.
Bud Sikes Jr. said he swept floors and did “grunt work” during high school and joined full-time in 1973.
Sikes and his younger sister, Laurie Mullarkey, company manager, will retire from the business. They opted not to stay on, although they were asked.
Caliber Collision will retain the 12 crew members, he said.
Research finds that Kenneth Stowe partnered with Sikes Sr. to form Sikes & Stowe, and the company kept the name.
Being Downtown, Sikes & Stowe attracted customers from around the county and beyond, Sikes said, such as Riverside, Ortega, San Marco, Ponte Vedra and the Beaches, Fernandina Beach and Georgia.
“Everywhere,” Mullarkey said.
Until Friday, Sikes & Stowe is making the transition, completing jobs and notifying customers.
“We’ve got a load of work,” Sikes said.