Eric Baird Celebrates the Purchase of the Historic Kress Building

Eric Baird Sarasota

January 26, 2021

Eric Baird Celebrates the Purchase of the Historic Kress Building

Real estate investor Eric Baird celebrates his purchase of Sarasota’s historic Kress Building as he plans its retail revitalization.

Selling last year for $5.8 million, downtown Sarasota’s Kress Building was purchased by local real estate investor Eric Baird. Celebrating his acquisition of the iconic site, Baird has gone on to reveal plans to bring in a number of luxury retailers as part of his anticipated revitalization of the almost 90-year-old Art Deco style property.

“It’s such a spectacular structure,” says the Kress Building’s proud new owner, Eric Baird, speaking from his home in Sarasota County, Florida, “and represents a great opportunity to deliver new, high-end retailers to bustling downtown Sarasota’s Main Street.”

Bringing an all-new luxury retail experience to the Kress Building’s first floor, the Art Deco masterpiece’s existing tenants will remain on the second and third floors, it’s understood. New owner Eric Baird himself, meanwhile, will move his own firm’s operations-those of investment outfit Baird Inc.-to the site’s fourth floor.

The property also boasts a large rooftop deck, affording those lucky enough to visit with a spectacular view out over the surrounding area. Spanning over 25,000 square feet in total, the historic Kress Building is located at 1440 Main Street in downtown Sarasota. First opened in 1932, the United States federal government added the Kress Building to its National Register of Historic Places in 1984.

“With its distinct facade, the iconic Kress Building is one of the few remaining Art Deco landmarks to be found locally,” adds proud new owner Eric Baird, further remarking on his acquisition.

Visual highlights of the famous and much-loved local building include wrap-around display windows, intricate terracotta detailing, and striking ornamental pilasters. Numerous interior elements are believed to take inspiration from the Middle East, while the Kress insignia still appears at the imposing front entrance, even now, almost a century since work first began on the construction of the building.

Eric Baird is reported to be understandably delighted with his purchase. “The iconic Kress Building structure has been here for nearly 90 years,” says the renowned real estate investor, “and it should continue to be celebrated.”

“Having successfully purchased the site, and with plans now afoot for its retail revitalization,” he adds, “I’m excited to be a part of Sarasota history moving forward.”

Eric Baird is the founder and CEO of investment firm Baird Inc., where, at its helm, the Sarasota-based entrepreneur and real estate investor channels his decades-long business background and his passion for the industry to help service the needs of the company’s roster of both small-cap and mid-market clients.

Under entrepreneur and real estate investor Eric Baird, the business specializes in financing solutions, including senior-secured and asset-based lending intended at its core to positively alter the trajectory of growing small businesses.

The philanthropic business visionary also serves as the president of the Gail Baird Foundation. The Gail Baird Foundation’s mission, led by the Sarasota-based Baird Inc. founder, is to support initiatives committed to increasing awareness of, researching, and ultimately curing ovarian cancer.

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