BRADENTON -- Tom Jess wanted to try something new.
Like owning his own property.
Jess, owner of Jess Jewelry, one of Bradenton's most established retail businesses, will relocate to 5,000 square feet of office space at the corner of 14th Street West and Sixth Avenue West in downtown Bradenton in the summer of 2013. Zio's Italian Restaurant was the last business located at the site.
For the past 13 years, the fine jewelry distributor has rented 3,000 square feet of space in the lobby of the Bradenton Financial Center in the 1400 block of Manatee Avenue West. The store, which will celebrate its 25th anniversary next winter, specializes in appraisals, custom design, repair and engraving.
"It will make it more convenient for customers, more parking and I'll own my own building," Jess said.
The move calls for the restoration of a historical property erected in 1926 and demolishing part of a structure to make way for a new building.
Relocating his business will cost close to $1 million, Jess said, but a $10,000 facade grant from the Bradenton Downtown Development Authority was approved Tuesday morning. David Gustafson, executive di
rector of the DDA, said the grant is an incentive for upgrading the appearance of downtown.
The jewelry store will occupy 3,000 square feet at the new location and Jess will rent the remaining 2,000 square feet.
"I'm only using Bradenton people for the move," Jess said. "That's going to create more jobs."
Jess Jewelry isn't the only business relocating in downtown Bradenton. Med X Change, a Bradenton-based medical device company, is expanding to 7,000 square feet of office space adjacent to the east side of the post office on Manatee Avenue.
The company outgrew its headquarters at 525 Eighth St. W. and will transfer its production, service and accounting personnel to the new building, which will allow the company to add five new positions, according to a company spokesperson.
Med X Change also was awarded a $10,000 facade grant by the Bradenton DDA Tuesday for restoring the property.
Nick Williams, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-748-0411 ext. 7049. Twitter:@_1NickWilliams.