DESTIN — Offering views of sunsets and Crab Island in Choctawhatchee Bay, a mostly-vacant property just north of the eastern foot of the Marler Bridge recently was purchased by an entity led by local businessman Joe Bruner.
The 2-acre property, which consists of five parcels, is bounded by Sides Moreno Point West Condominiums to the north, U.S. Highway 98/Harbor Boulevard to the south, the bay to the west and Calhoun Avenue to the east.
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The parcel closest to U.S. 98 has a building that houses Custom Concepts Tattoo and Design, across the highway from the Emerald Grande. The parcel closest to the Sides Moreno Point West condos contains the vacant, graffiti-covered remains of a one-story building that at one time might have been a home.
On June 17, the overall site was purchased for $5.5 million by a Mary Esther entity named BK of Destin Inc. from Sandman Development LLC of Madison, Georgia.
According to state Division of Corporations records, Bruner is the principal of BK of Destin Inc. Bruner could not be reached for comment Friday about his plans for the property.
Destin officials have not received any development applications for the property, city spokeswoman Catherine Card said.
According to Destin Senior Planner Daniel Butler, there is no mention in the city’s historical files of any business ever being located at 1 Calhoun Ave.
Around early 2018, the city rejected a proposal from Sandman Development to develop a condominium complex and mixed-use development project at that address because it did not meet city requirements. Among other issues, the proposed 13-story condo complex had more floors than were allowed by the city’s comprehensive plan.
Several years ago, Bruner had considered opening a military-themed amusement park called G.I. Joe’s on a 10.25-acre parcel along U.S. 98 and directly west of Big Kahuna’s Water and Adventure Park. Bruner had opened Big Kahuna’s, which currently is owned by a Boca Raton-based company, in 1985.
In mid-2015, Bruner said he was reevaluating his proposal for G.I. Joe’s, in large part because pushback from the city and state had made it difficult to get building permits. The project never went forward.