CRESTVIEW — A historic building in downtown Crestview is being converted into a new, multi-functional facility with office and retail space.

Demolition on parts of the new Courthouse Suites, which was previously Seaside Engineering and Surveying Inc., has already taken place.

Although the front section of the building will remain, property owner, Alex Barthe', said the garage attached to the building had to be removed because they found asbestos.

The back of the building was also torn down due to spacing issues, and Barthe' said they are putting in a two story addition that will be about 3,000 square feet. With the addition, the Courthouse Suites will total about 9,000 square feet.

Although the front section of the building will be used for office space, Barthe' said he hopes to use the additional section for retail.

“We’re trying to make the most of the square footage and bring some nice things to downtown,” Barthe' said.

The property will bring a more modern feel to the downtown Crestview area, Barthe' said. The main building will have two floors with a couple conference rooms and about 20 office suites. The retail and office buildings will be adjoined by a shared area.

“It brings various amenities to Crestview," Barthe' said, "and it’s an opportunity for some of the things that in Crestview, we would like to see."

Barthe' purchased the historic property in February, he said, after hearing the county considered purchasing the property for courthouse parking.

“It’s a historic building, and that would be a tremendous waste to do that. So, I’m glad that I had the opportunity to get the building,” Barthe' said.

One issue facing Courthouse Suites is parking. According to Growth Management Director Teresa Gaillard, the city will not require them to have additional parking because they are located in the downtown parking district.

“Part of Cedar Avenue was taken up by the courthouse parking, and the planning department's Teresa Gaillard said we can use space just inside of the courthouse fence,” Barthe' said in an email.

McCollough & Sons in Milton is the general contractor on the project, and Presergistics in Baker is the major subcontractor.

The building is expected to be completed by the end of this year.