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Destin Harbor District makeover
DESTIN -- It's been an eyesore in a prime location.
A building in Destin's Harbor district sat empty, falling victim to vandals and vagrants.
Now a new owner is bringing it back.
Laura Hussey "Crews are already hard at work on what used to be called the Renaissance Building in Destin, and it's a welcome sight for people around here. This building has been empty for several years"
Along Highway 98 in Destin's Harbor District, it doesn't fit.
Broken windows, signs of vandalism, unpaying guests.
Kelly Pfirrman/Boathouse Oyster Bar "The vagrants and that kind of stuff, the vandalism it just it wasn't pretty. We're trying to get people back to the harbor"
Kelly Pfirrman has owned the Boathouse Oyster Bar for twenty-seven years.
She says the concept of the building retail downstairs, living space above was just a little ahead of its time.
Kelly "It was always a great idea, but it was before the Emerald Grande was here, it was before Dewey was down here, Alan hadn't expanded to this extent, we hadn't expanded to this extent, and the boardwalk wasn't here"
Pfirrman thinks it will be a different story now.
The building is being remodeled inside and out, and the property manager says there's already lots of interest.
Julie Condon "I like it because I think it's where Destin really started, was just in the heart"
Julie Condon owns the Saltwater Cottage in Navarre.
She's considering this space for a second location.
Julie Condon "Because our philosophy at Saltwater Cottage is about restoration and that when something is torn down, just like sometimes that we get that with enough love, anything can be brought back, restored"
Just yards away at the Red Door Saloon, the general manager says all the nearby businesses will benefit.
Luke Martin/Red Door Saloon "There's some new places going in down here in this area, and we just look forward to kinda get that barhopping mentality and just more stores in the area, just bring more foot traffic"
Laura Hussey "The property manager tells me they'd like to have this work done by late summer and get people moving in.