Originally created 02/09/00

Barrett to sell Broad Street parcel



Industrial-pipe wholesaler Barrett Supply Co. will move to a new location in April and is trying to sell the Broad Street property it has occupied for 71 years.

With the exception of Broad Street's vacant department stores, the Barrett property is the largest single piece of downtown real estate on the market.

Matt Barrett, the plumbing-supply company's third-generation owner, said he plans to relocate the business to a 7-acre parcel in the industrial area of east Laney-Walker Boulevard, near Bobby Jones Expressway.

He said the company needs to be closer to its customers and is in desperate need of expanding its outdoor storage yard.

"We're pretty much maxed-out," he said.

He said the current, multilevel building is impractical for warehousing.

The property he is under contract to purchase includes a 10,000-square-foot building with 15-foot ceilings, allowing him to better store inventory.

The family's Broad Street property includes a 40,000-square-foot building, split into three separate storefronts at 633, 635 and 637 Broad Street, a warehouse and a half-acre of undeveloped land fronting Reynolds Street.

The undeveloped land, just east of First Union Bank's four-level parking deck, is being used as a storage yard.

The property is held by the estate of Mr. Barrett's deceased father, Alexander, and is controlled by his mother, Julia.

Barrett Supply leases two sections of the main building; the third section is leased by CSRA Advertising Specialities.

Mr. Barrett said the family has been contacted by several parties interested in purchasing the property but declined to name them.

With ongoing revitalization efforts downtown, the property could be attractive to any number of real estate investors.

The parcel also is uniquely situated. Its neighbors include a topless bar, the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce and First Union Bank's 17-story office building.

Mr. Barrett said the family has turned down one offer because the potential buyer was interested in only a section of the property.

"We don't want to sell a portion of it, we want to sell the whole thing," Mr. Barrett said.

The historic building and warehouse date back to the turn of the century and were among the few Broad Street buildings to survive the Great Fire of 1916.

The main building was purchased by Mr. Barrett's grandfather, F.M. Barrett, in 1929.

Reach Damon Cline at (706) 823-3486.