COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — Tuesday night, Columbus Council unanimously approved the $25 million purchase of the downtown Synovus property.
The four buildings and a parking deck with used for city administrative offices.
Synovus CEO Kevin Blair told News 3 their plans moving forward.
“Synovus is not selling their buildings and leaving the city. That is not the case.”
With that assurance from Synovus CEO Kevin Blair, Columbus Council approved the purchase of four downtown Synovus buildings and a 634-space parking deck that will serve as offices for general Government.
After the vote, Blair reiterated his point and answered a question that many citizens and some of the nearly 1,000 Columbus Synovus employees have had.
“We are consolidating real estate. Columbus is our hometown. And it is going to continue to be our hometown and we are going to continue to invest in it.”
The city has been looking for a replacement for the Government Center and the Synovus property was a $50 million solution, $25 million dollars for the property and $25 million dollars to renovate it.
It didn’t come without questions before the vote.
Councilor Judy Thomas At-large questioned the timing of the plans.
“Why did this come out on Friday afternoon to be voted on tonight without comment from the community.”
Columbus Mayor Skip Henderson reassures citizens the purchase of this building will be a thorough process to benefit the city.
“And I get it. I know people think we are making a big move. But this council has directed staff to do a thorough vetting of every single opportunity out there.”
Synovus had been having internal discussions for nearly two years about the possibility of selling the property along Broadway, First Avenue and 12th Street.
“This was an alternative that we looked at very early on. We didn’t know whether there would-be a purchaser of the property. So, more recently when the city expressed an interest, we moved very quickly because we through it would be a win-win situation.”
The deal is scheduled to close by March 31, 2021. The council also approved a $50 million bond issue to pay for the project over the next 25 years.