Originally created 12/28/96

Broad Street courthouse is now for sale



Now that Augusta's U.S. District Court has moved back into the historic U.S. Courthouse on Barrett Plaza, the owner of the court's temporary Broad Street home is looking for a new tenant or buyer.

SouthTrust Bank of Georgia owns the 985 Broad St. building, which was formerly occupied by the court officials and staff. SouthTrust acquired the property when it took over Bankers First Savings Bank.

"Their lease actually just expired on the 20th (of this month) so we haven't had a chance yet to go in and clean it and get it ready," SouthTrust Senior Vice President Ronald Minor said on Friday.

Federal court officials and staff used the former Bankers First building at Broad and 10th streets for four years while the 81-year-old U.S. Courthouse at Telfair and Eighth streets was renovated.

With that project finished except for minor detail work, court officials and staff moved back into the historic building and opened for business Dec. 9.

"We had everything moved out on the 20th when the lease expired," said Glenn Jones of the U.S. General Services Administration who was the building superintendent at the old courthouse.

"We would love to lease or sell (the now vacant building on Broad Street,)" Mr. Minor said.

Although one potential tenant has looked at the building, it wasn't right for the customer, he said.

"We really need a white-collar industry to move into Augusta. There's a lot of office space available downtown," Mr. Minor said.

According to the most recent survey by Blanchard & Calhoun, about 24 percent of the downtown office space is available - about 188,000 square feet.

The building at 985 Broad St. had a 1994 tax value of $1.443 million, Mr. Minor said.

Although SouthTrust hasn't established a fixed asking price for leasing the space, it would probably be about $11 per square foot, he said. A tenant who could take over the entire space would probably get a discount, he said.