Cemetery to expand onto Calico Corners site

Cemetery to expand onto Calico Corners site
At the corner of Oaklawn Place and San Jose Boulevard, the former Calico Corner’s Fabric Shop has been sold to the owners of Hardage Giddens Funeral Homes & Cemeteries and will become an extension of Oaklawn Cemetery in Lakewood.

Hardage-Giddens Oaklawn Cemetery and its popular event venue, Legacy Lodge, is due to get more exposure to travelers on San Jose Boulevard thanks to the funeral company’s purchase of an iconic fabric store next door.

A casualty of business closures due to the Coronavirus, Calico Corners, a fabric store in Lakewood that specialized in decorator fabrics and upholstery shuttered its doors in early June after 37 years in business. The Jacksonville emporium was part of a nationwide retail chain that specializes in furniture and interior design. 

SCI Funeral Services of Florida LLC, a Houston-based subsidiary of Service Corp. International paid $895,000 to Joy Jax Holdings LLC of Jensen Beach, Florida. The deal closed on July 15, said Joseph “Jody” Brandenburg, president of Hardage-Giddens Funeral Homes & Cemeteries. He also said that he thought the price was “fair.”

The property, which is nearly an acre, was home to the 8,856-square-foot Calico Corners store. The land lies north and adjacent to the 100-acre Hardage-Giddens Oaklawn Cemetery, which is owned by SCI under its brand Dignity Memorial, and is separated from Hardage-Giddens Oaklawn Legacy Lodge by Oaklawn Place, a small street formerly known as Inman Place, which was officially renamed when Legacy Lodge was built, said Brandenburg. 

“We’re just so pleased to have acquired the property that is so visible and so accessible on San Jose Boulevard,” Brandenburg said. “It was the only piece of property available that was contiguous to Hardage-Giddens Oaklawn Cemetery. Part of our plans include signage and additional exposure and availability to the Hardage-Giddens Oaklawn Legacy Lodge, and event center.”

Future plans for the parcel include razing the Calico Corners store building, Brandenburg said, although he had no idea at this point when that would occur. “We don’t need any more buildings,” Brandenburg said. “We don’t have definitive plans. We feel like with the exposure on San Jose Boulevard, it will provide an opportunity for premium cemetery property and products. As a matter of fact, we have been contacted by families interested in constructing private family mausoleums there.

“The property being contiguous with Oaklawn Cemetery has long held interest for us as a continuation of the Oaklawn Cemetery. That’s part of the value,  too, is being contiguous to the cemetery property. It will enhance the entry way and facility signage and identification of Legacy Lodge,” he said.

Brandenburg said the property will soon be dedicated as cemetery property and a continuation of Oaklawn. To become dedicated, Hardage-Giddens will make an official notification and request to the State of Florida Board of Funeral, Cemetery and Consumer Services, of which he is the chairman. “It’s routine. There is virtually never a reason to deny it,” he said.

By Marcia Hodgson
Resident Community News

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