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Auto tag office leaving Laney-Walker

Washington Road among two new lease locations

Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014 1:04 AM
Last updated 8:35 PM
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The Richmond County Tax Commissioner’s auto tag office is leaving Laney-Walker Boulevard.

Tax Commissioner Steven Kendrick got approval Tuesday from the Augusta Commission to enter a new lease at the Publix shopping center, 2816 Washington Road, and at a new south Augusta location at 3457 Peach Orchard Road.

Despite its central location, the rent at the new Washington Road space is lower than the city paid Augusta Neighborhood Improvement Corporation annually to house the tag office on the ground floor of the ANIC building, according to Commissioner Bill Lockett.

Lockett said he learned of the comparison from a detailed presentation Kendrick made Tuesday. The tax commissioner did not respond to a message Wednesday seeking comment.

“I think it’s a great plan. Steven Kendrick, he’s a very smart man, and he’s looking out for the interest of the entire community, rather than one small group,” Lockett said.

The city has leased space in the ANIC building since 2003 and spent $94,000 to run fiber optic cable to the building, with the idea of drawing traffic and development to the blighted area.

A 10-year lease in 2008 set the tag office rent at $76,725 annually for 4,650 square feet, with 3-percent annual increases. Today, that amounts to $19.12 a square foot, among the highest in Augusta for office space.

The new 3457 Peach Orchard Road tag office, near Rosier Road Shopping Center, will replace the tag office at 2029 Lumpkin Road. A third location, under renovation at Augusta Municipal Building downtown, remains open.

The ANIC building won’t be left empty, however. Augusta Housing and Neighborhood Development, the city department responsible for revitalization efforts in the Laney-Walker and Bethlehem communities, is still a tenant.

Augusta Utilities, meanwhile, will take over the tag office lease for a year or so, according to Utilities Director Tom Wiedmeier.

Walk-in customers will be able to pay their utility bills at the former tag office starting this spring until renovations are complete at the former Augusta main library, where Utilities customer service and administration intend to move permanently, Wiedmeier said.

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Bulldog
1319
Points
Bulldog 01/09/14 - 11:18 am
2
0
What savings?

If the county is locked into a lease until 2018, what savings can there be? Looks like another Chester "Wheeler Dealer" rip off!

Little Lamb
45357
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Little Lamb 01/09/14 - 05:03 pm
3
0
Imagine That!

From the story:

. . . the rent at the new Washington Road space is lower than the city paid Augusta Neighborhood Improvement Corporation annually to house the tag office on the ground floor of the ANIC building, according to Commissioner Bill Lockett.

Sounds like ANIC executive Chester Wheeler is quite a slumlord.

dichotomy
32128
Points
dichotomy 01/09/14 - 10:45 pm
3
0
Boy the city (taxpayers) sure

Boy the city (taxpayers) sure gets screwed on all dealings with ANIC. And yes, I'm still trying to see the "savings" since we are locked into a 10 year, overpriced, lease.

Pops
7780
Points
Pops 01/09/14 - 10:46 pm
4
0
Bill Lockett really made this statement?

“I think it’s a great plan. Steven Kendrick, he’s a very smart man, and he’s looking out for the interest of the entire community, rather than one small group,” Lockett said.

Looking out for the good of everyone instead of one small group? Oh no he didn't......

itsanotherday1
42228
Points
itsanotherday1 01/10/14 - 12:39 am
2
1
I would guess the lease has

I would guess the lease has an out clause. Not even those clowns are stupid enough to get locked in to a 10 year deal.

bubbasauce
20573
Points
bubbasauce 01/10/14 - 05:03 am
0
0
Not stupid enough to get

Not stupid enough to get locked in a ten year plan? I beg to differ!

raul
4624
Points
raul 01/12/14 - 05:52 pm
0
0
A 10-year lease in 2008 set

A 10-year lease in 2008 set the tag office rent at $76,725 annually for 4,650 square feet, with 3-percent annual increases. Today, that amounts to $19.12 a square foot, among the highest in Augusta for office space.

They could probably have gotten the building at half that price. It is in a slum area.

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