It’s been a hub of retail activity for over 25 years, but that could soon change. The unassuming, one-story brick building at 334 Donnelly Street and its adjacent private parking lot, officially go on the market today for $2.5 million. In an area that struggles to meet its demand for parking, a private parking lot is a coveted asset. Three generations of the same local family, the Pritts, have operated a retail store in that prime location for over 25 years. The first gift store, Country Cottage Crafts, enjoyed a two-decade run after relocating from Alexander Street. In recent years, it transitioned to Every Nook & Cranny and hosted Mount Dora Bikes, a bike share, in its parking lot. Malcolm Yawn Photography, known for wedding and portrait photography, was also in the building for several years before the business moved out last year. Built in 1950, the 4,440 square-foot building and lot was last purchased in 1994 by its current owner and former shopkeeper, Wayne Pritt, for $300,000. By comparison, the 4,500 square-foot building next door, previously home to Mr. Cerbiche and The Lost Parrot, quickly sold for $1.75 million just last year. That building does not have its own parking lot. Although the property didn’t officially go on the market until today, there has already been significant interest in it, according to Pritt, who said he will be patient for the right buyer to come along. With the exception of Main Street Leasing, which has several long-term vacant buildings, most downtown Mount Dora landlords are experiencing enviable retail occupancy rates of 90 to 100 percent with waiting lists. Retail properties typically have greater value to buyers when occupied, so they have the option to keep the existing tenants. However, Every Nook & Cranny is closing on May 3, which coincides with the end of downtown Mount Dora’s busy tourist season. Pritt and his wife, Barbara, were active for years in the Mount Dora Village Merchants Association and were previously key organizers of the annual Mount Dora Craft Fair that fills downtown streets every October.
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