DeFUNIAK SPRINGS — One of the city’s most noted buildings and a centerpiece to its historic district is for sale.
Owners Tom and Pam Hutchins placed Hotel DeFuniak, the two-story, 12-room hotel at Eighth Street and Nelson Avenue, on the market about two months ago.
“It’s time to pass the baton to another entrepreneur who’s at that point in their life when they want to take on a challenge and be a part of this town,” said Tom Hutchins, who plans to retire with his wife to Georgia.
The Hutchinses, who have owned the hotel for about 10 years, are asking for $1.6 million.
The Hotel DeFuniak building was built in 1920 to be the home of Masonic Lodge 170. However, the Masons lost the building in 1934 to foreclosure.
A pharmacist purchased the building and converted the second story into a rooming house.
The building had fallen into disrepair by the mid-1990s and was purchased by six families from the DeFuniak Springs area. They completed a major renovation and reopened it as Hotel DeFuniak in 1998.
After moving to DeFuniak Springs, the Hutchinses initially approached the six families about becoming partners in the hotel. Instead, the owners wanted to retire and decided to sell the building, which houses the hotel and the connecting Bogey’s Bar & Restaurant.
The Hutchinses purchased the hotel in 2003 and completed another renovation to imbue it with a sense of history. Antiques and paintings decorate the common areas, and each room has its own theme, such as oriental, art deco and safari-inspired designs.
The Hutchinses have selected Destin Realtor Stephan Mihacevich with Pelican Real Estate to be their sales agent. Tom Hutchins and Mihacevich said they are looking for someone special to purchase the hotel.
“What’s important to Pam and I is that we continue to improve what we have,” Hutchins said. “We wouldn’t just sell it to an attorney to put offices in it. It just wouldn’t do.”
“I think the challenge is it’s a unique property,” Mihacevich added. “There are customers out there who are uniquely qualified to own something like this and make it a success.
“Anybody can own anything … but we don’t want the baton dropped,” he said. “To find an owner that’s going to be able to give the love and care that a project like this needs is important.”