August 2019
Borrower Profile
SBA 504 Loan Helps Secure Historical Property in America’s Oldest City

Historical properties can be an excellent investment, especially for hospitality driven small businesses like The Collector Luxury Inn & Gardens in St. Augustine.  Financing these types of properties, however, can be challenging as they are considered special assets.

The Collector Luxury Inn & Gardens St. Augustine FloridaIn fact, this asset class may be difficult to finance without the support of a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan.  Specialty properties that may require additional collateral or an additional down payment with a conventional loan are likely to qualify for more reasonable financing with an SBA 504 loan.

The only caveat of financing a special purpose property with a 504 loan is the borrower must inject a minimum of 15% down (verses conventional terms, which often require down payments upward of 30% or more to secure this type of special asset).

Given this significant out of pocket savings, The Collector’s owner David Corneal worked with Kristen Tackett, Florida First Capital Vice President and Business Development Officer for Northeast Florida, and utilized the SBA 504 Loan Program to finance the purchase of the historic property.  The $11,200,000 total project included the partner buyout of a 49% interest in the project land, plus 9 existing buildings comprising 30 rooms totaling 17,103 square feet and the addition of a swimming pool.

The Collector is located on the site of the former Dow Museum of Historic Houses, a one-acre garden oasis comprising the 9 buildings, which date from 1790 to 1910 and are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  Spanning a city block in downtown St. Augustine, this storied site has been an integral part of the city’s history, serving as a 16th century hospital and cemetery, an 18th century Spanish defense line and setting for the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation reading that freed Florida’s slave population.

See also: SBA 504 Q&A: Historical Properties

Visit The Collector Luxury Inn & Gardens online at or, even better, in person!

The SBA 504 Loan Program provides up to 90% financing at below-Prime, fixed interest rates and long amortization terms up to 25 years for the purchase of major fixed assets, such as owner-occupied commercial real estate, energy efficient “green” initiatives and/or fixed heavy duty machinery and equipment.

504 loans are paired with private-sector commercial loans and provide up to $5 million of aggregate SBA eligibility on standard 504 projects; up to $5.5 million per 504 energy efficient green project not exceed $16.5 million in the aggregate; and up to $5.5 million per eligible small manufacturing project with no limit on total SBA dollars available.  These are SBA 2nd mortgage loan portions only; there is no limit on overall project dollar size.

For more information about SBA 504 loans in Alabama, Florida or South Georgia, contact a Florida First Capital Loan Officer or email us at  Phone: 850.681.3601 or toll-free at 800.504.LOAN.