By Richard Webner | @RWebner | Heron contributor
A partnership that includes a prominent entrepreneur and philanthropist from Austin has purchased the retail strip in Southtown that includes the Francis Bogside bar.
The partnership, F&J Heierman Building Ltd., bought the 0.38-acre single-story building, at the crossing of Madison and South St. Mary’s streets, on May 20 from a company named the King William Professional Group, county deed records show.
State corporate filings show that F&J Heierman is co-managed by Abe Zimmerman, who has developed projects in Austin, including a mixed-use project on South Congress Avenue. The other manager is listed as Judy Provost of Wimberley.
The purchase price was undisclosed. Calls to the phone number listed for F&J Heierman and other numbers associated with Zimmerman were not returned.
Zimmerman has served as a director on the board of the Austin Film Society, a nonprofit theater in Austin that arranges showings of rare and foreign films and offers film and photography classes, according to the nonprofit’s filings and corporationwiki.com.
It’s unclear what, if anything, is going to happen to the tenants of the building.
Attempts to reach Francis Bogside owner Steve Mahoney were unsuccessful.
Heather O’Neill, owner of Sweat Equity, an infrared sauna studio next door, said she has no plans on moving her business. She opened the studio “five minutes before the pandemic,” and built out her studio from scratch inside the space.
“To be completely transparent, I have not met the new owners,” O’Neill said. “I have no idea who they are. I am very confused.”
The building also houses an Arrosti clinic.
A 1999 video from C-Span identifies Zimmerman as the co-owner of Bookpeople, a popular independent bookstore in Austin. It’s unclear whether he’s still involved with the store. An email to Bookpeople was not returned.
The building was constructed in 1940 and includes 7,800 square feet of space, according to the Bexar Appraisal District.
Heron editor Ben Olivo contributed to this report.
Richard Webner is a freelance journalist covering Austin and San Antonio, and a former San Antonio Express-News business reporter. Follow him at @RWebner on Twitter
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Francis Bogside is moving at the end of the month to St Paul Square. I would say this doesn’t bode well for the other tenants.