Springfield has attracted another developer eager to join the Main Street corridor’s recent resurgence.
Jacksonville restaurateur Scott Adeeb spent 18 months searching Northeast Florida for the right location to launch his latest venture — a microbrewery and pub. After taking stock of other up-and-coming parts of town, Adeeb landed in an unexpected area.
“It was just by coincidence that I went out to Springfield and looked at this property,” Adeeb said of the 0.36-acre site and vacant building at 1850 N. Main St.
At first, Adeeb wasn’t impressed with the area.
“If I’m being honest with you, I left thinking Springfield has this bad reputation and I sort of dropped it,” he said.
Six months passed before the building landed on his radar again.
“At that time, I started doing a little more due diligence,” Adeeb said. “I started meeting some of the people who live here and I quickly realized this was a neighborhood I wanted to be a part of.”
Adeeb began attending community meetings and connecting with neighbors who told him the property needed to be revived.
From 2003-08 the space was occupied by Henrietta’s, another restaurant, bar and entertainment venue. The city foreclosed on the property in 2009 and it has remained empty since.
“The more I talked to people, the more I realized that this building seems to be the heartbeat of the community,” Adeeb said. “It was a very popular establishment at one time and I think people are ready to see that space come to life again.”
Although the building’s bones and structure are in pretty good shape, Adeeb said it needs a major facelift.
“I’m looking at putting $700,000 to 800,000 into it when it’s all said and done,” he said.
Before lifting a hammer, he needs approval from City Council, since the property isn’t zoned for a brewery.
Adeeb received the blessing of the Land Use & Zoning Committee last week and received the backing of City Council on Tuesday night.
Plans include the microbrewery along with what Adeeb describes as a casual pub-style restaurant. “Pizza, burgers, wings — all homemade and fresh, but with a unique twist,” he added.
He says it will feature a rotation of about a dozen original beers.
The space itself will be split into two separate operations, and include another outdoor patio in the front to complement the existing patio around back.
“The microbrewery and the restaurant will sort of operate on their own, but people can move freely between the two,” Adeeb said.
His project joins a growing list of breweries about to call Jacksonville’s original suburban neighborhood home, all located between Sixth and Ninth streets.
• Hyperion Brewing Co., a 5,500-square-foot nano brewery is set to open for business in mid-May.
• Main & Six Brewing Co., a 3,400-square-foot brewpub is targeting a fall opening a block south.
Christina Parrish, executive director of the Springfield Preservation and Revitalization District, or SPAR, said Adeeb’s addition is another indication the corridor is headed in the right direction.
“Perceptions about Springfield have started changing and that’s led to more people moving their families and their businesses here,” said Parrish, who added that for the first time in nearly half a century, Springfield’s population is on the rise.
“We’re seeing most of the remaining vacant buildings being purchased by new residents or investors. Real estate prices have also gone up dramatically over the last few years,” she said.
Parrish said SPAR has spent the last few years focused on bringing Main Street back to life. The effort is noticeable as developers take a more serious look at the area.
In 2017, Springfield residents will have a new coffee shop, pediatric clinic, two breweries and a few new restaurants.
They’ll join other established restaurants and businesses that Parrish said have made improvements as the neighborhood grows.
Parrish said recruiting developers and investors to the area has become a neighborhood effort.
“They’ll come out in force at City Council meetings to support them,” she said.
Adeeb said his concept won’t open this year, but that’s for a good reason.
“We’re not going to open until we have about half a dozen beers ready to tap,” he said, adding that they still need to acquire the appropriate brewing license.
He doesn’t plan on selling other brands in the meantime.
The project is also going to be a lot of work — something Adeeb said he doesn’t want to slap together just for the sake of having a quick opening.
“The good thing about all of that is we don’t have to rush the renovation. We can take a year or so and create a really nice place for people to enjoy.”