Originally created 12/16/00

CSRA center gets River Watch home

After nearly 30 years on Wrightsboro Road, the CSRA Regional Development Center is moving into larger offices at a west Augusta business park.

The 17-county regional planning and economic development agency will officially reopen Monday at the River Watch Center office complex at 3025 River Watch Parkway.

Center Director Andy Crosson said the organization outgrew its previous location at 2123 Wrightsboro Road, a 5,000-square-foot facility it has occupied since 1972.

"We had people sharing offices where there wasn't really enough room for one person," Mr. Crosson said, adding that the organization's size has tripled since the opening of the central Augusta office.

The center's affiliate organizations, the CSRA Agency on Aging and the CSRA Development Cos., will also be housed in the new 10,000-square-foot office. In all, 32 full-time employees will work there.

The center plans to sell its former headquarters, which includes a separate office building to the rear, after it has been completely vacated.

Mr. Crosson said the agency already has heard from several area doctors interested in converting the building into a physicians' practice.

Mr. Crosson said the center's new location, just a quarter-mile from Interstate 20, will cut more than 20 minutes off each out-of-town trip.

"Anytime somebody in this office needed to take a trip to somewhere in our region it would take them 15 minutes just to get to Bobby Jones Expressway," he said.

The new facility features other amenities, including modern phone and data lines. Mr. Crosson said the organization expects to save more than $650 per month in phone charges because the increased bandwidth allows the office to be served by fewer individual lines.

Next month, Ikon Office Solutions will relocate from its 2-year-old office building on Interstate Parkway to a 10,000-square-foot spot in River Watch Center. The office equipment supplier, which is downsizing its local operations, is leaving the building with about seven years remaining on the lease.

Ikon plans to sublease the $2 million, 25,000-square-foot building.

Matt Mills, a commercial real estate agent marketing the building, said the building already has generated interest among potential commercial tenants. Ikon's move will be complete by mid-January.

Mr. Mills said he is targeting his marketing toward distribution businesses and call centers.

"(The building) is basically warehouse construction with large spaces between beams," he said. "It could be used for many things."

Mr. Mills is also an officer for Augusta-based Southeastern Commercial Builders, the developer of the River Watch Center.

Construction at the 7-acre River Watch Center complex started in 1998. Other tenants include Five Star Food Service Inc., which operates its regional vending machine supply business in a 24,000-square-foot distribution facility, and office furniture dealer Ivan Allen Co., which leases a 25,000-square-foot showroom.

Reach Damon Cline at (706) 823-3486 or bized@augustachronicle.com.


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