Columbia County officials are about to add another 27,000 square feet of office space to the government’s inventory.
The county is expected to close on a deal to buy the former Rhodes Financial Services building at 610 Ronald Regan Drive with the next few weeks, said county Administrator Scott Johnson.
Commissioners voted to purchase the building for $3 million from JCZ Investors LLC at their Oct. 1 meeting.
Johnson said the empty building had been on the market for a while and its owners had approached the county several times to see if officials had an interest in acquiring it.
“It’s a good building; it has 27,000 square feet of office space,” Johnson told commissioners at the meeting. “It is also in good proximity (to the Evans government center) ; it is bordered on at least two sides by county property.”
Johnson said acquisition of the building fits into the county’s overall master plan and it comes with some furnishings and some computer networking equipment that can be integrated into the county system.
According to county property records, the property is actually three buildings valued at $2.7 million, sitting on 1.67 acres of land.
“Short of a few cosmetic items, the building overall is in good shape,” he said.
Johnson said the county is already in negotiations with two state agencies to lease some of the office space from the county.
Commission Chairman Ron Cross said the purchase was not originally budgeted, but was made possible by county department directors under-spending and saving enough in the budget to free up money for the purchase.
“That allows us to do something we would not be able to do otherwise,” Cross said.