Seek to use historic buildings to generate buzz
Two historic buildings in the heart of the city could become a catalyst to attract new life to downtown Zephyrhills.
City officials are seeking proposals from potential tenants for The Captain Jeffries House and The Carriage House – structures that have undergone relatively recent transformations.
“The city is seeking a comprehensive and adaptive reuse of these historic buildings for the economic benefit of the region,” according to the city’s Request for Proposal (RFP).
In choosing the tenant, the city will take into account the “ability of the proposal to provide an attraction or an anchor” in the city center that will appeal to both residents and visitors, adds the RFP.
The document provides an overview of the city’s vision for the potential of these historic buildings.
“The city believes the retail and food service operations are appropriate and a feasible business opportunity as the structures are located in the downtown Zephyrhills shopping district which includes the Town Hall, the City Library , as well as several retail stores and a microbrewery, ”Tender Notes.
A press release from the city observes: “Both buildings are within walking distance of the popular Zephyrhills Brewing Company, Your Turn Board Game Cafe and Gentlemen’s Quarters Barber Shop.
To encourage redevelopment, the city may offer incentives such as zero rental payment for a period of time and assistance with renovation costs to business owners who are also investing in the property and will drive foot traffic to the center. -City, says the city press release.
Community Redevelopment Agency director Gail Hamilton provides some background information in the news release.
“The downtown neighborhood has evolved over the past few years into an area that attracts members of our community, and even people who do not live in Zephyrhills,” Hamilton said in the statement. “There is a very ‘main street’ vibe, with the brick sidewalks, music everywhere, fairy lights and businesses that people love to hang out with. We are looking for businesses that will continue to add to the walkability and excitement of our downtown area.
Captain Jeffries’ House, located at 38537 Fifth Ave., is named after the city’s founder, Captain HB Jeffries, who established Zephyrhills as a retreat for former Union soldiers.
The 2,365 square foot structure, built in 1912, was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places on November 29, 1995.
In addition to the interior space, it has a wraparound 600 square foot porch. It has original hardwood floors, windows, light fixtures, fireplace and stained glass.
Work completed in 2016 included plumbing, electrical and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC).
Some maintenance problems remain, which will be dealt with by the city, in partnership with the new tenant. The idea is to avoid having to redo this work.
The Carriage House at 5323 Ninth St., was built in 1940. It is a 1,320 square foot two story structure with a balcony on the second floor. He restored the original windows and folding garage doors.
The building has a one bedroom apartment, with a kitchen and a bathroom on the second floor, which has its own entrance.
New plumbing, electrical and HVAC work was completed in the structure in 2020.
The city’s tender offers advice to those looking to rent these unique spaces.
“The city will evaluate proposals that offer rehabilitation or reuse of buildings in a new way that draws people to downtown Zephyrhills.
“Innovative rental proposals are welcome.
“Proposals must be convincing as to their feasibility and must reflect a realistic understanding of the building and its value,” the document states.
The deadline for submissions is 11 a.m. on August 16.
An evaluation team will rank the proposals. The final selection will be determined by Zephyrhills City Council, expected around mid-September.
Rental dates could start as early as October 1st.
Posted 04 August 2021