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Cape Fear Formal Wear Has New Owners, Location

By Christina Haley O'Neal, posted Jan 9, 2018
A longstanding men’s tuxedo shop and retail store previously located in downtown Wilmington has new owners and has relocated to the University Centre shopping center on South College Road, with plans for a grand reopening this weekend.

Jason Sellars and Chuck Ogiba, partners of Coastal Tux LLC, have purchased Cape Fear Formal Wear, which had a location at 218 N. Third St., the couple announced Monday.

The store's new location is 412 S. College Road in University Centre near Sam’s Club and next to Beautiful Brides.

Ogiba said Tuesday that they chose the University Centre location for Cape Fear Formal Wear, "because the space size was perfect."

"We were looking for something around the 1,000- to 1,200-square-feet size, and it turned out that we were right next to a bridal shop. That was kind of another lure, that we had a similar business next to us," he said.

The new owners have signed a five-year lease for the 1,200-square-foot retail shop, Ogiba said. Eastern Carolinas Commercial Real Estate represented the shopping center in the lease.

Agreements for the sale of Cape Fear Formal Wear, for an undisclosed amount, have been underway for about a year between the new owners and former owners Jeff and Jeanne Hovis, according to a news release. Sellars and Ogiba also purchased the name Cape Fear Formal Wear.

Jeff Hovis, a Realtor and commercial broker with Intracoastal Realty and previously the president and CEO of Cape Fear Formal Wear, closed the doors to the store's Third Street location in late-November, after it had served the Wilmington community for more than 40 years.

The former downtown retail property was sold for $1.15 million to Port City Hospitality LLC, the hotel developers behind the Hampton Inn by Hilton Wilmington/Downtown at 225 Grace St.

Jeff Hovis closed the Third Street location with plans to transition the formal wear services to a new, locally connected company, he previously said.

Ogiba said he and Sellars “plan to maintain the same excellent standards of customer service provided by the business for decades while bringing a modern vision to the styles and accessories available.”

The space includes 600 square feet of retail and 600 square feet of warehouse space for tuxedo rentals and future offerings.

Renovations to the building, which was previously a yogurt shop, are expected to include adding three dressing rooms and a space where guests over the age of 21 can sip and shop for their big occasion, Ogiba said.

Sellars will be heading the business, as Ogiba said he will be maintaining his social worker position at New Hanover Regional Medical Center.

Sellars said he has had a passion not only for men’s fashion but also culinary arts, having worked in the Wilmington area as a chef for more than 30 years.

More recently, Sellars has been learning to sew and describes the “excellent timing of this opportunity” with plans to implement alterations in the business in the future, the release said.
 
Ogiba said additional plans include adding retail with "specialty lines that are not available anywhere else in Wilmington."

“That’s sort of the future we are looking toward. And with Jason -- with his sewing skills -- we’re trying to get into alterations,” Ogiba said.

The grand opening of the new location of Cape Fear Formal Wear is scheduled for Saturday. Business hours will be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday with expanded hours during peak business seasons, Ogiba said.

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