Brian Wolfburg initially planned to invest personally in acquiring and renovating the Downtown structure.
VyStar Credit Union President and CEO Brian Wolfburg said he will not pursue the purchase of a Downtown building that he personally intended to buy for development into apartments and retail use.
The Hamby Building at 325 W. Forsyth St. remains on the market. Petra Management is marketing the two-story retail and office building, which has a basement.
Wolfburg said in an emailed statement Monday that his commitments with VyStar and the financial services organization’s expansion outside of Jacksonville are taking his attention.
“As such, I decided to take a less active role in personal property investments,” Wolfburg said.
“The highest and best use of all my time and attention is to focus on the growth and the safety and soundness of VyStar for the betterment of our 700,000+ members, 1,800+ employees and the communities we support,” he said.
Wolfburg said he remains positive about Downtown and will continue to support it “in other ways.”
He said VyStar continually evaluates opportunities “”that will make us a larger, more efficient credit union, and those opportunities take significant time and effort to bring to fruition.”
Wolfburg said in June that he assembled a group of family and friends to buy the 6,900-square-foot vacant Hamby Building.
He envisioned five or six apartments on the second floor and two retail spaces on the first floor.
Property records show an assessed value of $199,402.
The property is owned by Kore Properties Inc., led by investor Chris Hionides. Kore paid $1 million for it in 2004.
Elias Hionides is vice president with Petra Management.
Wolfburg’s prospective deal was not connected to VyStar nor to the Jacksonville-based credit union’s investment into the Downtown VyStar Tower and the adjacent building at 100 W. Bay St.
VyStar is renovating that building,
Wolfburg said 900 to 1,000 VyStar employees will move Downtown. Some already have moved.
The Hamby Building was built in 1925, records show.
The listing with Petra shows it was designed by Marsh & Saxelbye architects and built for T.B. Hamby, a real estate investor.
Wolfburg said in June he has invested in real estate development in Buffalo, New York, his hometown and a career stop before moving to Jacksonville from Alaska as he took the VyStar job Oct. 31, 2017.
Under Wolfburg’s leadership, VyStar bought the SunTrust Tower at 76 S. Laura St. and an adjacent parking garage in July and the 100 W. Bay St. office building in February, creating a block of property under VyStar’s control. The tower was renamed VyStar Tower.
Those two VyStar buildings also might not be the end of the credit union’s investment. Wolfburg said it might need another.
VyStar now is headquartered in West Jacksonville along Blanding Boulevard.