In December, local real estate investor Rafy Bassali acquired the 13,000-square-foot building from Atlanta-based State Bank and Trust Co. for $215,000. The market value for the property at 930 Broad St. is listed at nearly $580,000 on Augusta’s mapping system.
The property’s low price and the adjacent White’s Building made it an attractive investment, said Bassali, who plans to lease the space unless he finds an offer to sell worth pursuing. Bassali said he is talking with an interested party that had tried to purchase the building at the same time he did in late 2013.
“I would only sell it if the price is right,” Bassali said. “I want to keep it, so I have to see this offer through.”
The nearly vacant building is split into two commercial spaces fronting Broad Street and contains four back offices downstairs and an additional four upstairs. Sundrees Urban Market, a locally owned organic grocer, occupied one of the spots for two years before closing in early 2013.
The Doris Building was seized by State Bank and Trus last April after Doris Building LLC defaulted on a loan.
Bassali said he could see a restaurant or neighborhood-style business prospering at the site.
“Being connected to the J.B. White’s Building, once those condos fill, if they fill, any type of business that caters to them would work,” he said. “New Moon and the Book Tavern are next door. They both seem to be doing pretty well, so any type of business like that.”
Tenants of the Doris Building are required to follow homeowners association regulations with the White’s Building, formerly the J.B. White department store, but the two otherwise operate separately, Bassali said.
Bassali, a graduate of the University of South Carolina’s Moore College of Business, has focused on flipping downtown residential property and has projects in the works at 875 Broad St. and the Augusta Blueprint Building at 512 Reynolds St.