Port Theatre on Gulf Coast of Florida

posted by paulaclark on May 23, 2007 at 12:50 pm

PORT ST. JOE, FL — The owners of the Port Theatre are dedicated to lowering the asking price of this theatre regularly until it sells. They no longer live in the manager’s apartment above the theatre, and can no longer hold auctions in the building to make the payments.

There have been two offers on the building since it has been on the market for sale. The owners had to clear a legal matter with a neighboring property before selling and now all is cleared up. This beautiful art deco theatre building is located in a town that has so much potential. The building could be made into a number of innovative purposes, or could be restored back to full theatre use if the new owner desired.

Historic status was obtained on the Port Theatre in 2003, but no federal funds have been sought or accepted for the building so there are wide open avenues of opportunity for the next owner.

Many in the community are supportive of seeing a good future for this theatre, and until Hurricane Katrina, the area was booming with 30% then 65% real estate value increases.

Florida real estate has suffered tremendously since Hurricane Katrina and the stalemate in the market has only recently begun to change back to showing any growth, or sales.

The two previous offers on this theatre were 1.2 million and $750,000. The owners, who refused the $750,000 solely over the low amount, are now willing to accept even less than the $750,000.

This building is located in the very heart of the downtown, the center of all, the hub of the possible near future historic district. The City itself has been wanting to buy this building, and in fact, were partially responsible for the 1.2 million dollar offer falling apart. A new mayor (after 30 plus years of the same mayor) is about to take over and one of two city commissioners who fought the city purchasing the theatre for any reasonable price has lost his seat.

It is possible for the right investor to do well by buying this building and simply waiting out the city. We (current owners) can’t because we have been doing this for four years and now after a car accident injury, just can’t work anymore which limits our ability to keep going indefinitely.

The manager’s apartment is livable and the building is usable as is. It would make a good art gallery, antique mall, shop of various kinds, and has location, location, location going for it.

We owe $345,000 on this building right now and would even carry a contract for most of our equity on the building. We put 12 years of our lives into this building, and all we owned went into pulling it up from a near grave. When we bought it, it had been vacant for nearly 30 years, was without a good roof, was full of all sorts of trash, but was a diamond in the rough to the eye that looked. We looked, and we know someone out there is willing to see what we saw in 1995…….Please call Wade at 931-629-4080 if you have any ideas that would help us get this theatre in use again. It is currently vacant and the bank loan is nearing maturity/balloon payment. Thank you!

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