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Jax Daily Record Wednesday, Apr. 28, 202105:20 AM EST

Worth Turner buys Knights of Columbus hall in San Marco

The fourth-generation neighborhood investor intends to redevelop the Hendricks Avenue building.

 The founder of Hollingsworth Showroom extended the Turner family’s San Marco presence by purchasing the former Knights of Columbus building for $875,000.

“It’s because our family has been doing business in this area since 1942,” said Worth Turner on April 26.

He said he has his eyes on the market for “any iconic building that comes up for sale.”

Turner said he plans to redevelop the 9,000-square-foot building.

In a news release, Turner said he bought the property at 1509 Hendricks Ave. through WBT Property LLC.

Duval County property records show it was built in 1963.

 Matthew Clark, senior director with Colliers International, represented WBT and the seller, Columbus Social Club Inc. He said the sale closed April 23.

Turner said he would prefer a single tenant but will consider options, including retail or restaurant use.

“I am trying to find the perfect tenant. I would love if it were a local business,” he said.

“I think whatever suits the neighborhood best, I would be open to.”

Worth Turner, whose great-grandfather founded Turner Plumbing, continues to invest in San Marco. He plans to redevelop the former Knights of Columbus hall along Hendricks Avenue.

Turner said Clark will be the leasing representative.

In addition to Hollingsworth Showroom, Turner is the founder of and a commercial real estate portfolio that has focused on acquiring historic and notable buildings throughout the San Marco neighborhood. 

He bought the former Peterbrooke Chocolate Factory building at 1458 San Marco Blvd. in 2016 for Hollingsworth Showroom, his luxury kitchen, bath and tile showroom. 

Turner started Hollingsworth in 2011 and expanded with two locations in Florida – Jacksonville and Tampa – and a recent presence in St. Simons Island, Georgia.

The release said the Turner family has been doing business in San Marco since 1942 when his great-grandfather, Hollingsworth “Holly” Turner, started Turner Plumbing.

The family continues to own and operate Turner Plumbing from its original location at 1903 Hendricks Ave. The family leases the other portion of that building to Bold Bean Coffee Roasters. 

The building is adjacent to the Southside Park tennis center. (Google)

“We know our roots and they are firmly planted in the great neighborhood of San Marco,” Worth Turner said in the release.

“It is where our family business was founded, where I purchased and restored my first home, and where I will continue to invest and give back to the community,” he said.

The Knights of Columbus property, listed for $850,000, was the gathering hall for the Catholic fraternal benefit society.  

The Knights of Columbus has councils internationally that provide financial and other support to members, their families, charities and other recipients.

The Knights of Columbus-Bishop Kenny Council 1951 operated at the Hendricks Avenue property, which was available for lease to those needing a public venue.

Clark said the Knights of Columbus felt like the time was right to sell the hall.

“The time and effort it takes to run the hall started to outweigh the benefits of the property. The members will continue to gather, but at other venues around town,” he said.

Columbus Social Club Inc. is the real estate holding company that supports the Knights of Columbus-Bishop Kenny Council 1951.

“The economic realities of the COVID pandemic drastically limited our ability to generate rental income from the hall from March 2020 forward,” said Steve Lloyd, president of the Columbus Social Club, on April 26.

“The decision to sell was not an easy one, especially given the 60-year history of this building and its supporting activities for the Knights of Columbus-Bishop Kenny Council 1951.”

The council supports Turner’s efforts.

“We are encouraged by the energy and enthusiasm that Worth Turner and the Turner family will bring to this San Marco landmark in the years to come,” Lloyd said.

Turner said the city is interested in seeing the corner, at Hendricks Avenue and Cedar Street, improved.

He continues to look for opportunities in San Marco.

“I always have my eyes on the market and if something appropriate comes up, I am interested.” 

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