More buying by Brown

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Purchases complex in Village home to Casa Del Sol and Created Gems

By Jane Bartnett

Real estate investor and entrepreneur Chris Brown has added 5212 Ocean Blvd. to his rapidly growing portfolio.

Brown

Constance Zacker, a Siesta Key investor who owned the Siesta Village property for many years, sold the 1,992-square-foot building to Brown earlier this month. Brown reported that he paid “about $3 million.”
The retail space houses both the Created Gems jewelry store and the Casa Del Sol Boutique. Mark and Barbie Edwards, who own Created Gems, have been long-term tenants of the space, having opened their store 22 years ago.
In 2023, the Casa Del Sol Boutique opened in the adjacent space. The shop features domestic and imported beachwear for men and women as well as home decor, gift items and accessories. Erika Schmid and Nicholas Browne are the boutique’s co-owners.
Brown expressed great enthusiasm for the new project, located in the midst of Siesta Key’s main shopping district. “I look forward to working with Created Gems and Casa Del Sol Boutique for a long time,” he said. “I want them to succeed.”

The complex at 5212 Ocean Blvd. in the Siesta Village is now owned by real estate investor Chris Brown. It is home to Casa Del Sol Boutique and Created Gems businesses. (photo by Jane Bartnett)

As the season ends and life on Siesta Key winds down, Brown advised that he will begin to consider aesthetic updates to the building.
“Let’s get past season,” said Brown, who also made headlines in February when he purchased the complex that is home to the Boatyard waterfront restaurant on the mainland side of the Stickney Point bridge.
Commenting further on the 5212 Ocean Blvd. property, Brown noted that “the roof is in good condition.” He noted that the small garden that sits between the two stores can be improved to create a more welcoming atmosphere and he believes that additional cosmetic upgrades will enhance the appearance of both storefronts and the entire building. “I have plans that including paint, lighting, pergolas, etc.,” he said.
Last month, Brown added parking fees to the designated parking spots in front of Created Gems and the Casa Del Sol Boutique. “Adding parking fees helps to subsidize the rent,” he said. “Costs are becoming prohibitive, and the parking fees help with property taxes, insurance and other costs.”
Both tenants view Brown’s purchase of the property as a strong move forward.
“Chris Brown is dedicated to the well-being of the Village,” said Created Gems’ Mark Edwards.
Barbie Edwards agreed. “Chris is dedicated to keeping Siesta Key Village as a great destination,” she said. “This is a positive for everyone.”
Casa Del Sol Boutique’s Schmid also expressed great optimism.
“We’re incredibly happy knowing that Chris Brown deeply cares about the Key as much as we do. We expect nothing but good things coming from this.”
Other Siesta Village properties associated with Brown include MVP, the Beach Club, The Cottage, The Hub Baja Grill, and Summer House, and the building that is anchored by Morton’s Market.
In 2022, he also bought the building that is anchored By Crescent Beach Market at the island’s south end.

Jane Bartnett
Author: Jane Bartnett

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