After years of sitting vacant, an Alabama-based developer plans to breathe new life into the Renaissance building in the heart of Destin.
“We are completely remodeling everything,” said Ashley Gleaton, property manager for Redmont Properties. Gleaton is overseeing this particular project on behalf of JME Building and Development LLC.
The work is the latest evidence of an Old Destin redevelopment boom that has been long predicted by city leaders and developers.
With a mixture of townhomes and retail space, the Renaissance building, as it’s been called, was once a flourishing center of activity along U.S. Hwy. 98.
The building, which boasted a pink-hued stucco, is split into 10 separate units that consist of retail space on the bottom floor and townhomes on the top floor. All 10 units are owned by Harbor Destin Development LLC, according to records from the Okaloosa County Property Appraiser.
Records list Rob Blue Jr. as the registered agent for Harbor Destin Development and James Elder as the manager.
Renovations on the building, which will now be called Harbor Village Townhomes, began a few weeks ago, and crews have been busy with interior renovations. New 2x4s can be seen on the inside and the exterior is going to receive a complete facelift, Gleaton said.
As for the units themselves, Gleaton told The Log that the retail spaces range from 659-square-feet to 690-square-feet. The townhomes are 2 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms. Retail spaces will rent for $900, while the townhomes will be $1,350.
“There will be all new electrical, fixtures, air conditioners and heaters, cabinets and appliances,” Gleaton said.
Known more as an “eyesore” over the past few years than a thriving retail center, city leaders in Destin say they are excited to see changes coming to the property, which has been vandalized and been home to squatters.
“I don’t understand why it’s sat so long,” Councilman Larry Williges told The Log. “It’s a great location.”
Councilwoman Sandy Trammell said she remembers when the building was a hub of commerce years ago.
“I think that the idea and the building was almost before its time,” she said. “I would love to see it come back to life.”
“We have so much more traffic in that area now, which wasn’t there in the past,” she added.
Gleaton said they expect work to be completed by this summer. Harbor Village Townhomes is located next to the Fishing Fleet Marina and ranges in addresses from 220 Harbor Boulevard to 236 Harbor Boulevard.
“We’re going to be up and running by June,” she said. It’s doable for us.”