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Jax Daily Record Tuesday, Jul. 30, 201905:20 AM EST

Sweet Pete’s property for sale at $2.5 million

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Building is owned by Marcus Lemonis, who also has RV site for sale.

Hybridge, a Tampa-based real estate company, is listing the 110-year-old historic Seminole Building at 400 N. Hogan St. Downtown for sale at $2.5 million.

It is marketing the structure, anchored by the Sweet Pete’s candy store and owned by Chicago-based investor Marcus Lemonis, for sale to an investor or owner-user. 

Marcus Lemonis

Hybridge is a brokerage, management and development company. 

It also listed another local Lemonis-owned property, at 9012 Beach Blvd., for $3 million. Property records show that Lemonis bought that site in January 2018 for $5.4 million.  It is assessed at $2.2 million.

The property is leased to an RV dealership.

The Seminole Building previously was listed by The Shopping Center Group, at least as of May. The group said it elected not to continue listing the property and had no further comment.

The three-story, 16,900-square-foot structure, with a 730-square-foot porch, is designed as a candy-store wonderland anchored by the Jacksonville-based Sweet Pete’s candy company.

The 110-year-old historic Seminole Building at 400 N. Hogan St. Downtown is the home of Sweet Pete's.

The MLG restaurant inside closed in the spring while the candy business remains open.

Kellie Hero Messano, with Hybridge investment sales, and Sheila Suhar, senior associate of leasing and sales, are listing the Downtown and Beach Boulevard properties.  They could not be reached for comment as of Monday afternoon.

Sweet Pete’s partner Allison Behringer said in May the business would know more about its plans when a buyer emerges.

“We have a lot of different options,” she said. “We will wait to see if we negotiate a lease to stay or if we relocate.”

Marcus Lemonis, an investor and reality TV host of “The Profit,” owns the building and is a partner in Sweet Pete’s with its founders, Allison and her husband, Peter Behringer.

Lemonis closed MLG – Marcus Lemonis Grill – in the building six months after it opened in November. The restaurant replaced the Candy Apple Café.

As the property owner, Lemonis operated his companies in the building. A buyer would negotiate with existing users to become tenants, if desired. The cafe space appears to remain unoccupied and a Hybridge “available” sign is in the window.

Duval County property records show the building is assessed at $1.12 million for tax purposes and list the building at a larger 22,553 square feet.

The Seminole Building operated for decades as the private Seminole Club. It closed, was reopened for a time and then closed again.

In 2014, Sweet Pete’s was featured on an episode of “The Profit,” led by Lemonis. The Lemonis ownership allowed Sweet Pete’s to expand its retail and manufacturing into the former Seminole Club and to expand its e-commerce business.

In July 2014, Lemonis paid $550,000 for the building, renovated it and moved Sweet Pete’s from Springfield. He leased restaurant space to Candy Apple Café.

A sign at Sweet Pete’s advertises the sale.

The building closed to the public almost a year ago, Aug. 10, for repairs after Sweet Pete’s owners found condensation forming inside the building. Online sales and candy production continued, but Candy Apple Café announced its permanent closure.

In October, the building’s ownership announced that MLG would replace Candy Apple Café. 

The building reopened Nov. 23, on Black Friday, according to the Sweet Pete’s Facebook page.

TSCG’s property brochure noted the $1 million renovation of the structure.

Upon entering the building, the café and bar area is on the left and Sweet Pete’s operates a candy store to the right. The kitchen is in the back.

The second floor features more retail space, a dining and party room, dessert dining and a view of the candy production.

The third floor comprises party and production demonstration areas along with toys and offices.

In addition to retail and online sales, Sweet Pete’s hosts school and other organized tours as well as parties and events.

Lemonis also is chairman and CEO of Good Sam Enterprises and he leads other ventures.

The front door to Sweet Pete's.

 

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