White's Building up for auction Tuesday

  • Follow Metro

FOR SALE -- A nearly complete transformation of a historic department store into condominiums and commercial offices. The minimum bid for the White's Building, 936 Broad St., is $1.8 million. It will be sold at auction at 10 a.m. Tuesday in the Augusta municipal building. The former J.B. White department store now features 20,000 square feet of retail space and 60,000 square feet of residential condos.

Jai West, the owner of Casa Blanca Cafe in the front of the White's Building, said she has mixed feelings about the building's foreclosure sale Tuesday.

"I hope that (the buyer is) someone local that really cares about Augusta and cares about this building as opposed to some conglomerate who buys it because it's a great deal," she said.

Ms. West opened her coffee shop 11 months ago with the understanding that there would be built-in business from 51 condominium residents and a dozen other commercial tenants.

Three weeks after she opened in December 2008, construction came to a halt. That's when Atlanta's Haven Trust Bank failed and was seized by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Then in May, the FDIC seized control of the building from the developer, Marietta-based Horizon Group Investments, for defaulting on the $5.7 million loan.

Ms. West said she has struggled to keep the coffee shop running since the troubles began. There's no foot traffic in the building.

Only 10 condos were sold -- seven more now have renters -- and only one of the office spaces is occupied -- two more in the neighboring Doris Building, which was part of the renovation project.

According to the FDIC's lawsuit against Horizon, the developer was overdrawn on the loan by $479,000 with $700,000 of liens on the building by contractors and service providers. The company had failed to pay property taxes for 2008 as well, the suit said.

When work began on the four-story building in the summer of 2007, the idea was to transform the bottom floor into commercial space and then have three floors of condos.

For 54 years it was home to the J.B. White department store, but sat vacant since 1978, when the store moved out to the malls.

The developer paid $1.1 million for the building in 2007. The Georgia Cities Foundation provided $250,000 in financing for the project because it was a historic downtown renovation.

That loan was obtained through the assistance of the Downtown Development Authority of Augusta, which is also a tenant.

"I think the building can work," said Margaret Woodard, the executive director of the DDA and also a condo owner. She said she's optimistic about the foreclosure sale.

Travers Paine III, the building's receiver, said there are multiple scenarios for the sale. The FDIC could sell the loan and the buyer could foreclose on Horizon. If no one buys, the FDIC could choose to foreclose and then package the building into a larger real estate sale.

"There's a lot of interest stirred up by these ads, but that doesn't mean a sale will occur to an interested investor," Mr. Paine said.

The condos that are owned are not subject to the foreclosure and will be unaffected by the action, he said.

Reach Tim Rausch at (706) 823-3352 or timothy.rausch@augustachronicle.com.

Comments (21) 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.
Brad Owens
5224
Points
Brad Owens 11/02/09 - 05:08 am
0
0
Let's see...The Whites

Let's see...The Whites Building was owned by a group who had a member (Chairman in fact) on the DDA, Julian Roberts III. DDA helps Roberts' sell the building by getting Mr. Loudermilk's group about 24% of the selling price loaned to them. After the DDA helps close the deal by getting the loan approved, the DDA moves its offices to said building.(http://chronicle.augusta.com/stories/062707/bus_133767.shtm) Then, the DDA Director also moves into the Whites Building. The FDIC takes the bank over and halts construction due to the collapse of the actual bank they used to do the loan. (http://chronicle.augusta.com/stories/2009/03/04/bus_513448.shtml). Rex Properties, owned by DDA board member Paul King, was chosen to be the caretaker of the building while the FDIC decides what to do with it. Now we have this auction of what was to be the cornerstone of redevelopment downtown. Funny how all this ends up benefitting a few members of the DDA huh? If I had to bet, I would bet that Rex Properties buys it or one of the other companies DIRECTLY connected to the DDA board. Greed, deception, corruption, and abuse of powers are no way to serve unless you are on the Dirty Deals Authority (DDA).

Brad Owens
5224
Points
Brad Owens 11/02/09 - 05:12 am
0
0
P.S. Someone keeps having

P.S. Someone keeps having these pootings containing TRUTH about these DDA deals removed. They are all FACT based on past stories that have appeared here so I am not sure WHO keeps thinking it is not appropriate but I would bet that the comment above gets removed for some reason. Please note that all the stuff I have posted is FACT and linked to the stories online here at this website.

stadry
0
Points
stadry 11/02/09 - 06:41 am
0
0
brad & i rarely agree but i

brad & i rarely agree but i do think he's onto something

common-sense-justice
0
Points
common-sense-justice 11/02/09 - 07:16 am
0
0
If it walks like a

If it walks like a duck.......

Purelaughs
0
Points
Purelaughs 11/02/09 - 07:18 am
0
0
Funny that people think

Funny that people think everything posted in the newspaper is factual.

Brad Owens
5224
Points
Brad Owens 11/02/09 - 08:08 am
0
0
Well, I guess the chronicle

Well, I guess the chronicle could be wrong when they are quoting people directly but I am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. All the other stuff I quoted was verified outside the chronicle.

DuhJudge
206
Points
DuhJudge 11/02/09 - 08:33 am
0
0
How much rent does the DDA

How much rent does the DDA pay?

ripjones
2
Points
ripjones 11/02/09 - 08:49 am
0
0
Go Brad !!! This also shows

Go Brad !!! This also shows how messed up (choose your own description), the FDIC is. They shut down the original bank, but don't let Horizon Group shop a refinance proposal. I think someone inside the FDIC has been paid off. Smells stinky to me...

reesiecup
0
Points
reesiecup 11/02/09 - 08:50 am
0
0
Brad, you are right on the

Brad, you are right on the money with this.I have read your postings before and agree with you completely. The DDA is a group of cronies that need to be disbanded. What is the purpose of this group? You never hear anything that comes from them that is on the up and up. Too many skeletons in Ms Woodwards closet too.. Maybe someone will buy the building and put the entire DDA crowd out in the street. Maybe "Spotted" can be there and take a few pics for The Chronicle....

eachoneteachone
0
Points
eachoneteachone 11/02/09 - 09:50 am
0
0
Woodard of the DDA earns

Woodard of the DDA earns 80.000 dollars of your tax mondy. Are you fed up with waste?

disssman
6
Points
disssman 11/02/09 - 10:09 am
0
0
The following is right out of

The following is right out of the city code of the city of augusta Art2.1, sec 1-4-15, last updated in 2007. Please note that the law spells out there will be 7 members appointed, none of whom are to be salaried. Given that this is the law of the city, how did they manage to hire Ms. W? Please note that to keep within the seven figure dictated by the State law, they appointed two numbers 1. and one person has no term of office. After reading this I wonder if our elected commissioners have read the code?

(a) Members of the Downtown Development Authority of the City of Augusta appointed are as herein set forth, to wit:
(1) Margaret Woodard, Director
(1) Julian Roberts, Chairman 4 Years
(2) James Carter III, Secretary 4 Years
(3) Cassandra Brinson, Director 4 Years
(4) Paul King, Director 4 Years
(5) J.R. Hatney, County Commissioner 4 Years
(6) Steve Kendrick, Vice-Chairman 4 Years
(7) Phil Wahl, Treasurer 4 Years
(b) Each of said persons named as directors above shall serve in such capacity for the number of years set forth opposite their
respective names; and if at the end of any term of office of any director, a successor thereto shall not have been elected ...

oh man
0
Points
oh man 11/02/09 - 11:14 am
0
0
seems like normal augusta

seems like normal augusta stuff - follow the money

Brad Owens
5224
Points
Brad Owens 11/02/09 - 01:22 pm
0
0
The DDA should be disbanded.

The DDA should be disbanded. How many of these deals must we put up with before they are defunded? They cost us about $200,000 a year. That is a pretty penny towards saving the Patch huh? How can Woodard get paid more than the Mayor from an appointed board?

Emerydan
10
Points
Emerydan 11/02/09 - 01:33 pm
0
0
Brad.. you seem to know a lot

Brad.. you seem to know a lot about the DDA.. Correct me if I am wrong, but wasn't the DDA created by former state legislator and now Federal inmate Robin Williams? Anytime Robin Williams created any new bureaucracy it was never for the benefit of the taxpayers but rather as vehicle to reward cronies. I get that feeling with the DDA. It seems to me that Mainstreet Augusta did a better job.. heck look at The Arts Council.. now that they are running First Friday instead of the DDA, it is biger than ever. With the BID in place, why do we even need this bureaucracy?

Emerydan
10
Points
Emerydan 11/02/09 - 01:34 pm
0
0
I read on one of Butch

I read on one of Butch Palmer's campaign fliers that he is for a full independent audit of the DDA and even thinks that the group should be disbanded.

disssman
6
Points
disssman 11/02/09 - 01:34 pm
0
0
Brad the real question is how

Brad the real question is how can anyone be paid when the city code specifically states theri expenses are to be reimbursable only. Again I ask has any of our elected officials actually read or know that we have a city code which spells out how our city functions? If you want to see a joke look at the airport commission (last updated in 2007) which still lists ed McIntire as a member.

Emerydan
10
Points
Emerydan 11/02/09 - 01:36 pm
0
0
Heck, Dissman, we have bus

Heck, Dissman, we have bus maps that are 10 years out of date, not surprised to hear we have dead people on the airport commission.

Brad Owens
5224
Points
Brad Owens 11/02/09 - 05:32 pm
0
0
DDA, CHAPTER ONE. Our DDA is

DDA, CHAPTER ONE. Our DDA is just like any other city in Georgia and they were created by an obscure law passed in the early 1980’s to help city’s finance parking decks. Any city can activate a DDA and ours is an activated part of our city that was created on a state level by the Georgia Legislature. That is true; ask Penn Mayson who was on the Augusta City Council and the President of the Georgia Municipal Association’s committee charged with finding an answer for the problem. He was there when the Governor (Harris I believe) signed it. The DDA never had a paid director, nor did it need one, until after consolidation. The first Administrator, Randy Oliver, saw that Mainstreet Augusta was receiving general fund monies to help support its goal of revitalization of downtown. He said legally we should not be doing that because Mainstreet was a business association with some state support so he recommended that they ‘consolidate’ the two and have one ‘Executive Director’ over both entities. The DDA was an official arm of the government so the money could be routed through them for Mainstreet. That is how we ended up with a paid director.

crackertroy
540
Points
crackertroy 11/02/09 - 06:34 pm
0
0
Peter Knox will probably buy
Unpublished

Peter Knox will probably buy and get the taxpayers to renovate it under the next SPLOST package.

Brad Owens
5224
Points
Brad Owens 11/02/09 - 06:40 pm
0
0
Not his style.

Not his style.

FedupwithAUG
0
Points
FedupwithAUG 11/02/09 - 11:42 pm
0
0
How did Travers Paine III get

How did Travers Paine III get to be the receiver? This guy lost his licence to practice law in he ""Grace" community mental health centers" case. Seem she has a link some others in jail. Talk about a crook. http://chat.augustachronicle.com/stories/011806/aik_6261056.shtml

smitty1861
4
Points
smitty1861 11/03/09 - 05:15 am
0
0
Trav Paine is a great person.

Trav Paine is a great person. By the look of how many times you have posted on here you either have no life or no job (probably both). If you are fed up with Augusta leave, I am fed up with trash like you.

Back to Top
loading...
Search Augusta jobs