Monday, March 12, 2007
Landmark office building sold
By THOMAS S. BROWN
DAYTONA BEACH — A Flagler Beach real estate broker has paid $2.5 million for the S.H. Kress building, a downtown Art Deco landmark.
AME of Volusia, an investment firm owned by Albert M. Esposito, purchased the four-story office building last month from Mac Smith, an Ormond Beach Realtor who had owned it for 14 years.
Originally a department store, the 75-year-old structure at 140 S. Beach St. was subdivided into 17,000 square feet of office space in the early 1980s. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.
Designed by architect Edward F. Sibbert, the building uses the same art deco design features found in many other old Kress stores, including buff-colored brick and terra cotta. The ground-floor offices have walls along the main hallway that are mostly glass, creating an open feeling.
Esposito said he bought the building because he thinks the Beach Street area, with its new condominiums and performing arts center, is headed toward revival.
“I just happen to have a great deal of confidence in downtown,” he said. “There’s a lot of energy coming together there that will attract young professionals to live and work downtown.”
Besides the Kress building, Esposito owns two condo units in the nearby Wall Street Lofts building and one in the Marina Breeze condos.
Steven and Nancy Koenig, who managed the Kress property for Mac Realty, will continue overseeing it for AME.
“It will remain an upscale business location with all existing leases staying in place,” Steven Koenig said.
More than two dozen companies and nonprofits rent space in the building, and most have been there several years, he added. Annual rents vary widely, depending on location within the building, but most are more than $15 per square foot, with utilities and maintenance charges included, Koenig said.
Among the larger tenants are the Zgraph web design firm, Image Makers advertising agency, Belliker Art Gallery, Daytona Beach Symphony Society and the Alzheimers Association of Volusia-Flagler.