Park Place developer plans to transform San Marco bathhouse

Park Place developer plans to transform San Marco bathhouse

A men’s bathhouse that for decades rested in the shadow of Southside Baptist Church is about to undergo a dramatic transformation.

Bill Ware, vice president of development for Harbert Realty of Birmingham, Ala., is in the process of personally purchasing 1939 Hendricks Avenue, where the former Club Jacksonville, an adult entertainment men’s club, used to reside. He will own the property through an LLC. The derelict building was condemned by the City Municipal Code Compliance Division in 2019.

A San Marco resident, Ware, is best known as the representative for Harbert Realty, the developer of Park Place San Marco, a four-story apartment complex soon to be built on land previously owned by South Jacksonville Presbyterian Church. He said he has the property under contract and plans to renovate the building into a two-story professional office building that will house two to three tenants.

It is Ware’s plan to demolish the one-story, 2,000-square-foot rear wing of the building that formerly housed the men’s club’s indoor pool, jacuzzi, fitness equipment and other amenities, so that he can build an two-story elevator, welcome lobby, and public restrooms in that space. He has filed for a demolition permit and hopes to take the rear portion of the structure down in December. He hopes to begin construction early next year on the $3 million project, which includes the purchase price.

The property is currently owned by the Estate of Raymond P. Diemer in care of Athletic Ventures of Florida and Joan Elizabeth Diemer and is listed for use as a club, lodge or union hall. In 2020 it had an assessed value of $691,021, according to the Duval County property appraiser website. 

The property includes 25 parking spaces, “which is a commodity in San Marco, as you know,” Ware said.

By Marcia Hodgson
Resident Community News

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