A vacant Broad Street building will be returned to its 19th century splendor by its new owner – a familiar face in downtown Augusta revitalization efforts.
Bryan Haltermann, president of Haltermann Partners Inc., last week acquired 901 Broad St., a three-story corner property that he intends to convert into nine loft apartments sitting above restaurant and retail space on the ground floor.
“The corner space is undoubtedly going to be a restaurant,” said Haltermann, who purchased the building through a limited liability company from the five owners of Cranston Engineering Group, who once had their own plans to renovate the 13,000-square-foot building at Broad Street and James Brown Boulevard.
Haltermann said he has had numerous inquiries from restaurants and retailers interested in the two 3,000-square-foot commercial spaces, but no commitments yet. He expects the nine apartments to fill up quickly; the 60 loft apartments he owns in other buildings throughout the central business district are near 100 percent occupancy.
Construction barriers could be erected as early as next week and renovations should begin within 60 days, he said, with completion occurring early next year.
The building most recently housed a consumer finance company and a coffee shop, but has been vacant for more than a year.
Haltermann said renovation of the 133-year-old structure will include substantial facade work, including installation of balconies that will resemble those that adorned the building when it was a hotel called The Marshall House. Including the cost of the real estate, the renovation project represents a nearly $1.7 million investment.
He said a percentage of the costs will be offset by state and federal historic renovation tax credits. The company’s general contractor, Augusta’s Robertson Restoration LLC, will be partly paid with a minority equity stake in the property. Robertson Restoration is owned by Heard Robertson, the son of Cranston Engineering Group President Tom Robertson.
“We see this as being a signature renovation of a 19th century building on one of the busiest corners of Broad Street,” Haltermann said.
The property is diagonally opposite the administrative offices of the Richmond County Board of Education and is just a block south of the Augusta Marriott at the Convention Center complex, whose operators are developing a 125-room hotel just steps from Haltermann’s soon-to-be-renovated building.
Haltermann purchased his first downtown property in 1986. The 901 Broad St. renovation is his first project in three years.
He said he had recently intended to divest all his downtown assets – he sold two properties in the past six months – but that he has since reconsidered. He said he is once again bullish on the central business district.
“Demand downtown has been better than it’s been in a while,” he said.
Reach Damon Cline at (706) 823-3352 or email@example.com.