A partnership deeply invested in redeveloping downtown Elizabethtown has signed an agreement to purchase the vacated Roxie’s restaurant beside the justice center on East Dixie Avenue.
Elizabethtown Renaissance Associates, comprised of local businessmen Kevin Addington, Carl Swope and Ben LaRue, have entered a contract to buy the 11,000-square-foot, two-story structure, which is a block off the Public Square. While some of their renovations have involved time-consuming and costly renovations, Addington said this project will involve only a minor facelift.
The partners expect much of the building to remain available as office rental, he said, and they already have leads regarding a occupant for the ground-floor restaurant space. Because the sale has not yet closed, they said it would be premature to discuss specifics.
Roxann Smalley, a local attorney, developed the restaurant, which opened in November 2013. It closed early this year and the property went on the market. She also has her law office in the back portion of the building, which the Renaissance group said she plans to relocate. Attempts to reach Smalley for comment Monday were unsuccessful.
“We really appreciate all the effort Roxie put into it,” LaRue said. “She was a front runner in downtown revival. That’s one of the hardest things, being first.”
In a separate interview, Addington said, “She did a great job in renovating the building” and was responsible for “moving the needle downtown.”
Addington said the building at 114 E. Dixie will become the 10th downtown property in which he and his partners have invested in. Among its efforts are the former county government space occupied by Impellizzeri’s, a former car dealership being converted to event space and storefronts occupied by Vibe Coffee and Herb & Olive.
As part of its Work, Live, Play vision for downtown, the partnership also has developed modern loft apartments in some of the historic structures.
Additional residential space will consume the upper level of the company’s new anchor under construction on one corner of Public Square where a generation ago J.J. Newberry once operated a bustling 5-and-Dime department store.
A yet-to-be-announced restaurant will occupy from street level of the new structure, the partners said.