For more than 20 years, 614 Lake Avenue has been vacant. A big, empty site on a fairly busy downtown Lake Worth street.
But the site’s new owners, real estate investors Bruce and Robert Oresky, hope that’s about to change after buying the site for $200,000 from Jay Burry in November 2016, according to the Palm Beach County Property Appraiser’s website.
The brothers are putting a new roof on the property. They’re also repairing the air conditioning and adding new compressors for the walk-in coolers.
“The site had not been maintained the past 20 years,” said Christopher Fleming, a senior broker with Strategic Reality Services. “They’re spending at least $50,000. There are a lot of things inside that need to be fixed. It’s like a time warp.”
The $200,000 question — what will fill the spot?
The Oreskys declined to talk to The Palm Beach Post, saying Fleming could speak for them.
“So far we’ve had an extremely overwhelming response,” Fleming said. “But we want the right fit for the building and they need to be a good downtown fit.”
He said there’s been interest from a Greek restaurant, a Haitian eatery, a bar and and old school tavern. “We’re only renting the space, so we’re looking for a good operator to come in and make it their own,” Fleming said.
The site’s next door neighbors are looking forward to the site opening.
“We know they’ve been vacant for a long time, but we didn’t know it was that long,” said Maggie Maran, who has worked at Bali Importers, a direct importer of fashion, art and jewelry from Bali the past 10 years. “It’s a definite improvement from what was there, which was a vacant building. It’s going to be a good addition to the community.”
Danny Marke, a cook at Downtown Pizza, said another good restaurant means more downtown customers.
“It brings more people to the area to try different foods,” he said. “We have a pretty good local clientele, so we don’t really pay attention to who’s vacant or not, but it should bring more people downtown if the food is good.”
614 Lake Avenue has been many things over the years, including Captain O’Grady’s and Rosie’s Key West Grille.
Several residents have said Burry, who died last year, has had several offers, but didn’t accept any.
“I brought him two people two months ago who were extremely interested,” Joan Oliva, executive director at the Lake Worth Community Redevelopment Agency told The Post in August 2016. “We thought both deals were going to go through, but at the last minute he changed his mind.”
Fleming has dealt with Burry for 15 and was always surprised by him. “We could never really pin him down to which terms he would sell,” he said. “We just felt he was someone who was not going to sell. It was well over a million dollars in lost rent. It’s kind of crazy.”
He said the brothers have no intention of selling.
“They’re not the kind of guys who flip properties,” he said. “They’re long term holders of properties. In about two or three months, we should have a tenant. There are a lot of people who are curious.”