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Jax Daily Record Thursday, Jan. 30, 202005:40 PM EST

JWB Real Estate buying Downtown Seminole Building, home of Sweet Pete's

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Anchor tenant happy for a Jacksonville owner “that has our same passion for Downtown."

A group led by Jacksonville developer and investor Alex Sifakis is buying the historic Downtown Seminole Building at 400 N. Hogan St. and intends to complete the deal by early next week.

“We think that the revitalization Downtown is really important to Jacksonville as a whole and we want to be a part of it,” Sifakis said Jan. 30.

“We see this as a great piece of that,” he said.

Jacksonville developer and investor Alex Sifakis

Sifakis said 400 Hogan LLC, owned by JWB  Real Estate Capital, is paying $1.7 million for the property. He is a manager of JWB.

The three-story building is anchored by Sweet Pete's candy shop, which signed a long-term lease to remain there, Sifakis said.

“They are an extremely important part of Downtown and a great amenity,” he said.

The 10/Six Grille, which operates an “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” theme, opened Oct. 4 and also has signed a lease to stay, he said.

“They've been a great addition as well,” Sifakis said.

Sifakis said his group will make general repairs and paint, landscape and pressure-wash the property.

Jacksonville-based Sweet Pete’s leases part of the first floor as a candy shop, the second floor as a candy store and dessert shop and the third floor as a toy shop. There also is a candy kitchen.

Sifakis said the third floor will revert to event space for corporate meetings, weddings and children’s parties by Sweet Pete’s.

He said the 5,000-square-foot space will be open for business in the next few months. It also can accommodate Sweet Pete's children's parties.

The 22,500-square-foot building includes a front porch used for seating.

The building is next door to City Hall at St. James Place.

The 400 Hogan LLC group is buying the building from a group led by “The Profit” reality TV host Marcus Lemonis.

Lemonis invested in Sweet Pete’s and bought the building six years ago to house the candy company.

The Candy Apple Café initially operated in the restaurant space but did not reopen after the building closed temporarily in 2018 for repairs. Lemonis, based in Chicago, then briefly operated MLG – Marcus Lemonis Grill – in the building.

Lemonis continues to own Sweet Pete’s in partnership with its founders, Peter and Allison Behringer.

“We're very happy that the building is going to be owned by a local company that has our same passion for Downtown and we are very happy to be staying here and we are happy to keep growing,” Allison Behringer said Jan. 30.

Lemonis listed the property for sale in May for $2.5 million but re-listed it in July for $1.95 million.

Hybridge, a Tampa-based real estate company, marketed the now 111-year-old structure, on 0.38 acres, to an investor who would become the landlord or to an owner-user.

Property records show the building is assessed at $1.12 million for tax purposes.

Duval County property records show the structure was built in 1909. It operated for decades as the private Seminole Club. It closed, was reopened for a time and then closed again before its current use.

In July 2014, Lemonis paid $550,000 for the structure. He renovated it and moved Sweet Pete’s from Springfield.

A property brochure noted a $1 million renovation of the building.

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