If you take a good look around, there is construction happening just about everywhere on the Space Coast. From behemoth installations in Cape Canaveral to tidy townhouses in Indialantic, it seems that every conceivable space where something can be built has a project happening or one in the works.

The Eau Gallie Arts District is no exception, albeit at a smaller scale. A few projects have risen up in the area over the past decade and a newer one, Pineapples EGAD – billed as a restaurant, venue, rooftop bar – has come along nicely.

Elsewhere around the district, the limited availability of new building space has helped the area retain its artsy, vintage vibe and careful planning around architecture and design should help it remain that way. There is, however, one builder who’s been patiently waiting his Caption needed here turn to develop an exciting new project: Larry Jarnes of Northboro Builders. In May, his company was selected from among a number of bidders to purchase the Foosaner Art Museum, along with an adjacent property the former Foosaner Education Center.

Larry Jarnes, Photography by Jason Hook

Jarnes, who has developed and built franchise restaurants nationwide — over 1,000 in the past 25 years — as well as airport restaurants, retail and healthcare facilities, has a unique vision for the site which will cater to a hip, chic crowd: a boutique hotel filled with local art, wide-spanning views of the Indian River and Atlantic Ocean, two specialty restaurants and a rooftop pool and lounge. The project is expected to break ground in the third quarter of 2021.

Passion Project in Three Parts

The passion project for Jarnes has been percolating in his mind for some time. A resident of the arts district for years, he said he hoped he’d find a way to blend his love for the area with a project that would help anchor the quirky, artsy (and unique small-town vibe) further in the community.

The second piece of the puzzle is a planned parking garage with 505 spaces and electric charging stations that will flank the project in a joint venture with the City of Melbourne through a Community Reinvestment Act. The garage will provide parking for hotel and restaurant guests via valet services and will include hundreds of free parking space to visitors who wish to come explore the area and enjoy all it has to offer, said Jarnes.

Finally, unique food hall, retail and entertainment venue will be built in the space where the Foosaner Education Center now sits empty. The space will include food vendors, dining space, Wi-Fi access and plenty of spots (and encouragement) for working folks to spread out and answer emails or host informal gatherings with clients. All three projects will be built concurrently.

Jarnes is in talks with Premier Lifestyle Hotel Brand and management company Dream Hotel Group from New York to operate a boutique Unscripted Hotel on the site. And although final design details such as interior design, wall colors, lighting fixtures furniture choices still have to be finalized, to expect less than über cool from this project would be underestimating the potential of his vision.

What Jarnes said he does know for sure is that the hotel will have 180 rooms on 9 floors including a high-end rooftop restaurant with cantilevered dining balcony, rooftop pool, and cocktail lounge with unobstructed views of the river. A second restaurant will be located on the second floor, with a stylish cocktail lounge and exterior balcony overlooking the park next door. There are also plans for 6,000 sq. ft. of flex conference room/venue space which will accommodate weddings and large group events and 6,000 sq. ft. of premium retail space.

One tenant is already confirmed, Jarnes said.

“We’re going to bring an Orlando business partner of ours into the space, as well,” he said, “to help them expand their footprint in Central Florida.”

Foxtail Coffee, which launched in Orlando some years ago, will roast their own unique blends and operate a trendy gourmet coffee and foods shop on site.

Community Anticipation

The project garnered enthusiastic support from local government officials and shop owners who look forward to introducing the district to new generations of families and who want to help increase exposure to the artsy enclave and its unique retail and service shops.

Lisa Packard, Executive Director of the Eau Gallie Arts District, is especially excited it. “We know we are growing as a destination downtown and this particular kind of project will serve the locals well while drawing more visitors to the district. I couldn’t be more excited,” she said.

Northboro Buliders is a Central Florida-based, nationwide design-build construction company specializing in turn-key restaurant solutions, revitalizing commercial properties by developing unique restaurants, “ghost kitchens,” boutique hotels, office centers and medical facilities.

For more information, email Larry@Northborobuilders.com or call 774-696-6000.