New owner plans for commercial developments at historic Galveston building

August 13, 2015

Galveston's long-vacant Falstaff Brewery building has swapped hands again — this time, to an owner with big plans for renovations.

 

Jerome Karam, of JMK5 Holdings Galveston LLC, took over the property in May and plans to develop its three buildings into parking space for cruise passengers, condos and a hotel, the Houston Chronicle reported.

 

The Port of Galveston has already been approved for a five-year lease in the 100,000-square-foot parking garage. The garage will open by Oct. 23 and is set to hold 231 parking spaces inside and 93 outside. The Galveston County Daily News reported the port's governing body agreed to the lease earlier this month.

 

The six-story building on the site will be redeveloped into housing units, and the 10-story building will be converted into a hotel, for which Karam is in the process of interviewing brands, the Chronicle reports.

 

All of the buildings will have retail components, Karam said. He hopes to fill all 310,000-square-feet of space, spanning two city blocks, in the next 18 months, according to the Chronicle.

 

Galveston has seen a number of renovation and expansion projects this year.

 

The cruise terminal, which Karam plans to capitalize on, is planning to build a $15 million, 60,000-square-foot expansion to make room for the new Liberty of the Seas cruise ship from Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE: RCL), which will start docking in November.

 

Construction of the new Jennie Sealy Hospital and repair and renovation of John Sealy Hospital in the city is underway. The Galveston City Council also recently committed $1 million toward infrastructure improvements at the Vehicle Processing Center for BMW in the city.

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