753 Broad Street
After years of neglect, downtown Augusta’s most prominent building is poised for a return to preeminence.
Albany, Ga.-based developer Pace Burt and business partner Rick Goddard of Southeastern Management Co. intend to redevelop the historic Lamar Building into 70 market-rate apartments.
They acquired the long-vacant property in June. Their estimated $12 million plan would reimagine the century-old structure as a residential tower above ground-floor commercial space. The 238-foot building’s distinctive glass-paneled penthouse, designed in the 1970s by noted architect I.M. Pei, would become event space. Work could be started by the end of 2021 and completed as early as 2023.
The National Register of Historic Places-listed building was constructed in 1913 as the city’s first skyscraper. The Beaux Arts-styled mid-rise caught Burt’s attention several years ago, but it wasn’t until the previous owner acquired an adjacent parking lot in 2018 that the building could be capable of fulfilling Burt’s vision.
The Lamar Building is Burt’s second investment in Augusta’s urban core; in 2018 he acquired 350,000 square feet of old cotton warehouses just west of the Dart Cup plant off Wrightsboro Road that he and his partner intend to renovate into 160-units of workforce housing.
Burt and Goddard have redeveloped old hospitals, textile mills, office buildings and hotels into thriving mixed-use developments during the past two decades in Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama and Arkansas.