Columbus GA could buy Synovus office for $ 25 million, document says


Synovus office buildings on Broadway in Columbus, Georgia, September 24, 2021.

Synovus office buildings on Broadway in Columbus, Georgia, September 24, 2021.

The city of Columbus would pay nearly $ 25 million to buy five downtown properties currently owned by banking and financial services company Synovus if council members vote yes at next week’s meeting.

Documents provided to the Ledger-Enquirer on Friday night show the city would agree to buy the property for $ 25 million. However, Synovus will pay the city $ 500,000 to lease some of the office space once the deal is done.

Synovus would vacate the majority of the buildings by July 31, 2022 and the rest by June 30, 2024, according to city documents.

The properties will also need to be renovated for government operations. The purchase and renovations would be funded by the Columbus Building Authority bond issue with proceeds of no more than $ 50 million, the document said.

If approved, the sale is expected to close no later than March 2022.

Synovus announced the purchase agreement on Friday. Under the proposed transaction, the city would purchase the Uptown center, main office, Jordan and Bradley buildings, and parking lot – approximately 250,000 square feet of office space. All facilities are in the block bordered by 12th Street, First Avenue and Broadway in downtown.

Columbus Mayor Skip Henderson told the Ledger-Enquirer on Friday that Synovus properties would house most of the city’s administrative jobs.

The announcement comes just over a month before voters in Muscogee County go to the polls for a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, or SPLOST, a measure that would determine the future of court and government buildings in the city.

Consultants hired by the city had previously recommended that the city build a new 310,000 square foot courthouse and additional parking structure at the current site of the Government Center. A majority of the city administration would be moved to a new building on a separate site or to an available space in another building in the city. SPLOST would fund the project.

“The buildings will be vacated and provide adequate office space needed for administrative space and the possibility of consolidation,” says the council’s resolution regarding the sale. “There is additional court space needed for courtrooms and support space. The administrative functions housed in the Government Center will be moved along with the annex offices and other administrative functions.

This story was originally published September 24, 2021 6:37 pm.

Nick Wooten is the Southern Trends and Culture reporter for the South McClatchy region. He is based in Columbus, Georgia at the Ledger-Enquirer, but his work also appears in The (Macon) Telegraph and The Sun Herald in Biloxi. Prior to joining McClatchy, he worked for The (Shreveport La.) Times covering city government and investigations. He graduated from Mercer University in Macon, Georgia.

Ledger-Enquirer reporter Joshua Mixon covers business and local development. He is a graduate of the University of Georgia and owner of the coolest dog, Finn. You can follow him on Twitter @JoshDMixon.

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