Sarasota Real Estate Investor Purchased Historic Kress Building for $5.8 Million

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SRQ DAILY FRESHLY SQUEEZED CONTENT EVERY MORNING THURSDAY MAR 5, 2020

The historic Kress Building at 1440 Main St. has been sold for $5.8 million. Sarasota real estate investor and senior debt lender Eric Baird purchased the 25,500-square-foot property, built in 1932, from prior owner Doug Libertore of 1 Health Place International.  “It’s such a spectacular building,” says Baird. “And this is a great opportunity to put some new, high-end retailers on Main Street.” As of the sale’s March 3 closing, the building’s famed first-floor retail space has no occupants; FIMC Insurance is the only current tenant, occupying the second and third floors with stated intention to renew its lease in September 2020. Baird plans to recruit high-end retail Tenants to the first-floor space on Main retail and to move the offices of his company, EB Kress LLC, to the fourth floor. The property also has a spacious rooftop deck.

The S.E. Kress & Co. chain of five-and-dime stores built the Kress Building in 1932, signaling a new era of Sarasota development and economic growth even in the midst of the Great Depression. The building’s distinct modern architecture, including a striking brick-and-stone façade, makes it one of the last remaining Art Deco landmarks in the area. The awning and façade still bear the “Kress” logo, and the inscription, “5-10-25 CENT STORE.” The S.E. Kress company (1896-1981) once boasted locations around the country, including Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue and Hollywood’s Sunset Boulevard. “This iconic structure has been here for nearly 90 years, and it should continue to be celebrated,” says Baird. Sarasota’s Kress Building was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.

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