COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — The city of Columbus now owns a prime piece of downtown real estate. And the redevelopment started Monday.

Back in September, plans surfaced for the city to purchase 250,000 square feet of Synovus office space and a 634-space parking deck.

The $25 million purchase deal was signed last year and completed this year.

The city got the keys fromt the bank to the Synovus building Monday morning.

Workers were already inside assessing what needs to done to turn this into office space for the mayor, city manager and whole host of city departments from human resources to codes and enforcement.

Nearly $25 million in renovations will include a new roof, new HVAC system, an overhaul of the wiring systems and a lot of paint and flooring. By April of next year, some city offices will be moving into the old Synovus building.

“I think it represents a great opportunity, not just for the employees but for the citizens of this community,” Columbus Mayor Skip Henderson said. “The ease of access is going to increase. We will have some of our functions that work very closely with one another develop more synergy because we will be in the same location. … And it also signifies advancement on the current site because now we will be able to start moving some of the general government folks out so that we can begin construction on the judicial building.”

The new building also came with a lot of furniture that Synovus left behind.

Synovus will continue to operate a bank – and pay the city rent – until July 20-24. A new Synovus headquarters and bank branch are under construction less than two blocks away.

A new judicial building will be constructed on the site of the existing Government Center, closer to the 10th Street side. That project is scheduled to be completed in early 2026.

Synovus – the old Columbus Bank and Trust for those of us who have been here a while – has operated on that site in that building since 1957. A bank has been on that property for almost a century.

The city recently let $50 million in bonds to cover the cost of the purchase of the Synovus property and renovations.