After placing the item on their agenda as a late addition, Pensacola city council members voted Thursday evening to sell a city-owned downtown parking lot to developer Quint Studer.
The deal was approved unanimously by the six council members who were present. Council member Larry B. Johnson left the meeting prior to the vote.
Under the terms of the deal, Studer Properties will pay $510,000 for the 0.4-acre parcel located at 150 South Baylen Street. The parking lot, managed by the Downtown Improvement Board, currently provides 59 public parking spaces.
Studer’s offer was one of two received for the lot. Pensacola plastic surgeon Dr. Kyle Shaddix also offered to purchase the property at the same price, but that offer was submitted too late to be included on this month’s agenda, city officials said.
The property could become part of a larger development project within the block, said Studer Properties president Andrew Rothfeder. The firm is partnering on the purchase with the owners of the adjacent 121 South Palafox, a one-story building that’s currently home to BlabTV.
Rothfeder said the partnership envisions a mixed-use development for the property, which could include constructing a building on the Baylen Street side and a structured parking garage in between the Baylen Street property and Palafox Street building. Another redevelopment scenario could include demolition of the Palafox building — built in the late 19th century — and the development of a multi-story mixed use building with residential condos or apartments, office space, and a parking garage.
“The owners of 121 are considering a significant redevelopment and expansion of their property, as they believe their current building is not the highest and best use for the location they have on Palafox,” Rothfeder said in a letter to city council members. “A development scenario which expands the building would require this additional land.”
The purchase is Studer’s second major downtown real estate transaction this week. On Tuesday, Studer announced plans to purchase the former SunTrust office tower on West Garden Street for an undisclosed sum.