ARC seeking tenants for former chamber building

Tuesday, July 1, 2014 3:03 PM
Last updated Wednesday, July 2, 2014 2:42 AM
  • Follow Government

Renovations are nearly complete and Mayor Deke Co­penhaver’s Augusta Re­gional Collaboration Corp. is looking for individuals, nonprofits, businesses and other groups to inhabit the former Chamber of Commerce Buil­ding in Broad Street’s 600 block median, with a move-in date in August or Sep­tem­ber.

The former Chamber of Commerce Building in the median of the 600 block of Broad Street was designed by I.M. Pei. As renovations are completed, Mayor Deke Copenhaver's Augusta Regional Collaboration Corp. is looking for groups to reside in the building.   MICHAEL HOLAHAN/FILE
MICHAEL HOLAHAN/FILE
The former Chamber of Commerce Building in the median of the 600 block of Broad Street was designed by I.M. Pei. As renovations are completed, Mayor Deke Copenhaver's Augusta Regional Collaboration Corp. is looking for groups to reside in the building.

ARC, granted a five-year lease of the I.M. Pei-designed structure for $1 a year, is looking for food and beverage vendors, groups to hold meetings in a “community room,” performers and tenants seeking office, educational, studio and other space, according to the ARC Project web site.

ARC Director Matt Kwatinetz, who arrived in Augusta with Starbucks’ new soluble products plant, said he has already heard from seven or eight individuals and groups interested in using one of the spaces. He said he is seeking many more and wants to learn as much as he can about each user’s needs to further configure the space for maximum use.

“We want it to be filled as many hours as possible,” he said. “From pretty much early in the morning to a reasonable hour at night, during weekdays. We’re just trying to have a lot of activity on the street … It creates a different environment on that side of Broad Street.”

The response will show whether interest, for example, is “skewed young” or “older and independent,” and guide ARC as it further outfits the building and allots space to individuals and groups, Kwatinetz said.

One of the findings made by an Augusta Downtown Development Authority retail survey funded by the DDA and private entities was a “need to improve the metrics” of people downtown both day and night, and ARC hopes to use the building to do that, he said.

Inside the unusual building, plans called for four work spaces for two or three; two one-person offices; two project rooms; an “accelerator” room for 10-12 people; two “spontaneous collaboration zones;” eight reservable co-working spaces; a lounge; and an education center.

The renovations were funded through a $100,000 city allocation and private sources.

Starbucks plant personnel volunteered their time at the site in May.

Steering ARC, which also is responsible for Co­pen­haver’s mills campus proposal for Georgia Regents Uni­versity, are five board mem­bers: Copenhaver, DDA Di­rector Margaret Woodard, Au­gusta Development Au­thority Director Walter Sprouse, Starbucks plant manager Rob Beattie and Jesse Wiles, the head of APD Planning and Development, the primary consultant on Augusta’s Laney-Walker and Bethlehem redevelopment project.

According to ARC’s Web site, it is also seeking a public affairs manager, vendors, contractors, partners and interns to staff the headquarters.

Applicants can apply through the mayor’s office.

Comments (18) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
Riverman1
83800
Points
Riverman1 07/01/14 - 03:37 pm
3
1
Kazoo?

I can play the kazoo on Thursday nights if Matt is interested.

Pops
8355
Points
Pops 07/01/14 - 07:13 pm
5
0
What in the world are these.....

“spontaneous collaboration zones,” an “accelerator” room......

raul
4851
Points
raul 07/01/14 - 08:33 pm
3
0
well, "spontaneous

well, "spontaneous collaboration zone" is better than spontaneous combustion zone, I guess.

Riverman1
83800
Points
Riverman1 07/01/14 - 11:35 pm
3
1
You've Got To Be Kidding

"Inside the unusual building, plans called for four work spaces for two or three; two one-person offices; two project rooms; an “accelerator” room for 10-12 people; two “spontaneous collaboration zones;” eight reservable co-working spaces; a lounge; and an education center."

"According to ARC’s Web site, it is also seeking a public affairs manager, vendors, contractors, partners and interns to staff the headquarters."

My goodness, this is almost becoming a parody. It reminds me of Ghostbusters.

LuvMyTown
2009
Points
LuvMyTown 07/02/14 - 11:06 am
1
1
Really Appreciating Starbucks!

Very nice of Starbucks to donate their money and staff time to help improve downtown Augusta. Nice to have folks with a positive vision coming to town.

Brad Owens
4423
Points
Brad Owens 07/02/14 - 11:13 am
2
2
Good project..

This will bear good fruit

Little Lamb
45904
Points
Little Lamb 07/02/14 - 11:52 am
1
0
Job

Well, at long last we learn that Matt Kwatinetz has a job with the city government. Look at the third paragraph. They call him an ARC Director. I wonder what the salary is?

Butterman
3680
Points
Butterman 07/02/14 - 12:01 pm
1
2
Black Hole
Unpublished

So many empty building downtown and they pour money into this? It should have been torn down to make room for more street level parking.

Conservative Man
5564
Points
Conservative Man 07/02/14 - 12:30 pm
1
1
Accelerator zones….

…..and spontaneous collaboration zones., etc…is "seminar speak" by people who have never really held a "real job" in their lives except sponging off the public teat…

In five years that monstrosity of a building will either still be empty or torn down to put something really useful to the city…that is IF the city is still solvent...

Brad Owens
4423
Points
Brad Owens 07/02/14 - 12:35 pm
2
2
LL..

The Augusta Regional Collaborative (ARC) Project is not the county government. It is an independent non-profit company and is not a government entity.

Brad Owens
4423
Points
Brad Owens 07/02/14 - 12:37 pm
2
2
"Butterman"

This is no longer going to be one of the empty buildings. I am sure that folks will complain no matter what happens with this group.

I am glad the building will be used.

Brad

Brad Owens
4423
Points
Brad Owens 07/02/14 - 12:38 pm
2
2
Conservativeman...

I hope they prove you wrong and I am confident that this building will never sit empty again.

Little Lamb
45904
Points
Little Lamb 07/02/14 - 12:51 pm
2
0
Collaboration Corp.

Thank you, Brad, for correcting me. I just saw "ARC" and assumed it stood for Augusta-Richmond County.

So it is a non-profit company. I guess they get their money from memberships and fund raisers. I wonder how much money the Augusta government pumps in each year?

Little Lamb
45904
Points
Little Lamb 07/02/14 - 12:58 pm
2
0
Who Are We?

Here's a web page for ARC Corp:

Who Are We?

It looks like the government outnumbers the private interests by quite a bit.

corgimom
32266
Points
corgimom 07/02/14 - 02:20 pm
1
2
Pops, you want to see

Pops, you want to see "spontaneous collaboration"???

Hit an Augusta nightclub after 12 am, you'll see it left and right.

But just what Downtown needs, another food service entity. Like there aren't enough restaurants on Broad St as there is.

This belongs to Deke. How does the MAYOR, et al, get to run a business to compete with the private business owners, who have hung on to their businesses all these years, and now wants to open something to compete against them?

If I were a bar or restaurant owner, I would be HOLLERING.

corgimom
32266
Points
corgimom 07/02/14 - 02:21 pm
1
1
I wonder, just wonder, what

I wonder, just wonder, what coffee they will be serving in the food venue.

*snort*

Butterman
3680
Points
Butterman 07/02/14 - 02:48 pm
1
2
I am all for saving historic buildings
Unpublished

BUT this is one that should meet the wrecking ball. It takes up valuable parking in the heart of Broad Street. Plus it is an awkward and just plain UGLY building. Why not instead use the old Kress building, The Penney's building or any number of the other empty buildings downtown that need tenants? Funny you say this ARC group is a non governmental agency. That is in name only. Almost all of their funding has come from Augusta taxpayers. How much of their budget has Starbucks and the private sector kicked in? This is very smart because they can essentially get their funding from the taxpayers but not be accountable to them.

countyman
20120
Points
countyman 07/02/14 - 03:28 pm
0
4
Double standard!!!

The same few people don't want Augusta to build anything new, but constantly will complain about the lack of things in Augusta compared to other peer cities..

''Almost all of their funding has come from Augusta taxpayers.''

False......

1. Starbucks = $200,000
2. City of Augusta= $100,000
3. Private sector= $100,000

Conservative Man
5564
Points
Conservative Man 07/02/14 - 03:37 pm
0
0
Brad Owens….

…I hope they prove me wrong as well..But if past performance is an indicator of future performance, I'm not optimistic…time will tell..

Butterman
3680
Points
Butterman 07/02/14 - 04:27 pm
2
0
Private Money
Unpublished

We keep hearing how this is a non governmental non profit... but 80% of the funds going to this group has come from taxpayers. No one has been able to answer the question of who is paying Matt Kwatinetz's salary. If he is being paid from taxpayer funds, people have a right to know that and he ought to be accountable to the commissioners and taxpayers. But in this arrangement he is off limits. He won't even answer questions from the media. I still would like to know how much money has been spent so far on these various "mills" studies. Augusta taxpayers have handed Mr. Kwatinetz $600,000+ with little to show for it so far.. except for this ugly building with no tenants. I am getting tired of hearing "just wait and see" and "you will be surprised." Yes I am sure taxpayers are in for a big surprise when they find out how much they have ended up sinking into Mr. Kwatinetz's black holes. As an aside, it keeps being reported that Kwatinetz came to Augusta with Starbucks, but I can find no record that he has ever worked for Starbucks. There seems to be too much mystery with this guy.

Gage Creed
17203
Points
Gage Creed 07/02/14 - 10:27 pm
1
0
TRIPLE NON-STANDARD!!!!!

1. Pollyana's Cafe... (EVERYTHING IS GOOD)
2. Warp Engine Rebuild Shop... It's light years away
3. Start up Sound studio to recreate the Jetson's car sound for your Prius

Butterman
3680
Points
Butterman 07/03/14 - 08:49 am
0
0
Hipsters
Unpublished

But will the Hipsters think it's cool? Will it be anything like this? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWjRgzFeE_8

Back to Top

Top headlines

Clemson halts mandatory student sex survey

CLEMSON, S.C. - Clemson says it has suspended a mandatory survey of students the school says was part of a review to prevent sexual discrimination, harassment and assault.
Search Augusta jobs