Property owner and developer Moshe Silagi confirmed that there is an office-use tenant interested in the 120,000-square-foot spot at the intersection of Reynolds and Seventh streets, which could create at least 400 jobs.
“If it materializes, it will happen fast and it will be very promising,” Silagi said. “Every downtown would like to have this type of an action taking place.”
Silagi, who was in town last week to meet with those involved in the property, said he was unable to provide the name of the potential tenant because “there are too many parties involved.”
After the Augusta Downtown Development Authority regular meeting Thursday morning, board members held an hour-long closed session and cited recent real estate developments as the reason. Those in attendance, including Augusta Regional Collaboration Project Director Matt Kwatinetz, declined to comment afterward.
Augusta broker Dennis Trotter, who represents Silagi, said finding a new tenant to fill the former museum now vacant for almost three years is in the “courting” phase.
“We’re courting a tenant right now is about all I can say,” said Trotter, a partner in the Jordan Trotter commercial real estate firm. “It’s not a done deal and far from a done deal, but we do have some significant interest in the building.”
In January 2012, Silagi purchased the two-story space within the Port Royal building for about $2 million.
The old National Science Center attraction closed in 2010 after 13 years operation. The site has been stripped to bare concrete floors and columns to make way for its next tenant.
The Port Royal property includes city-owned parking facilities and private condominium on the upper floor. The building, once listed for as much as $5 million, also has space for a theater, restaurants and other amenities.