Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

$5.5 Million Can Get You the Amsterdam Sky Cafe; Owners of Bar and Grill in Sports Complex Say Time Is Right to Sell Downtown Establishment

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

$5.5 Million Can Get You the Amsterdam Sky Cafe; Owners of Bar and Grill in Sports Complex Say Time Is Right to Sell Downtown Establishment

Article excerpt

Byline: RYAN GEDDES, Times-Union staff

For two years, The Amsterdam Sky Cafe has been the only game in town for fans and workers near the Sports Complex downtown.

The bar and grill at 234 A. Philip Randolph Boulevard is the lone retail island in a sea of gleaming new sports venues, with the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville, the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena and Alltel Stadium all within stumbling distance.

But the restaurant's owners are ready to sell, marketing the property in one of the most frenzied marketing environments in the world -- the Super Bowl.

And the price is a rock-solid $5.5 million.

"Of course it's solid," said co-owner Mark Jackson. "I know what it's worth."

The 30,000 square-foot building has been on the market for about 30 days, said Jackson, and the for-sale sign on the Amsterdam's brick facade could soon be seen by hundreds of thousands of Super Bowl XXXIX visitors, many of whom will likely come by for a beer or a blackened chicken sandwich.

On Friday at lunchtime the restaurant was bustling, packed with patrons sporting NFL-issued credentials.

Harvey Warnock, a commercial real estate broker with Demetree Brothers Inc. who is representing the owners, said the Super Bowl timing is just a coincidence, and Jackson said he's not in a hurry to sell. The business has been profitable, Jackson said, but its owners are too busy with other projects to keep up with the fast pace and high maintenance of a restaurant and bar.

Other partners in the Amsterdam ownership group include architect Thomas Perdue and contractor Tyndall Jackson, Mark Jackson's brother.

"My brother has so much work, it's just taking too much of his time, and we're only 25 percent developed," said Mark Jackson, who is also a part-owner of the Eclate nightclub on Bay Street and is opening a temporary club for the Super Bowl called Jackson's Hole next door. "We are not in a distress sale at all."

In addition to the ground-floor restaurant, the building has a second floor and the zoning to build more levels.

According to the Duval County Property Appraiser's Web site, the Amsterdam Sky Cafe was valued at about $569,000 in 2004, including the building and the land it sits on. …

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