Business: With a $1.1 million opening bid already set, who’s lining up for October’s online auction of the SunTrust campus on Second Avenue?

Business: With a $1.1 million opening bid already set, who’s lining up for October’s online auction of the SunTrust campus on Second Avenue?

The SunTrust campus as seen from First Street looking south on Second Avenue in downtown Rome. Hometown photo.


Something of a landmark in downtown Rome for nearly 65 years, the current home of SunTrust Bank at 100 E. Second Ave. is scheduled for an online auction Oct. 22-24.

Ten-X Commercial Real Estate is behind the sale and asks for a $10,000 participation deposit and opening bids of $1.1 million. Expect a 5 percent transaction fee as well, starting at $40,000. For more on the sale, please click Click SunTrust

Let’s look at the particulars first and then the potential. Those particulars:

  • Class C office building totaling 52,623 square feet and covering just over two acres.
  • It lists 47 percent occupancy at this time, down considerably since McRae, Smith, Peek, Harman & Monroe LLP moved to Bridgepoint Plaza as part of a rebirth there that also saw the arrival of Moe’s Original Barbecue and other tenants. 
  • The campus includes two buildings, was renovated in 1971 and features access from four downtown streets — Second Avenue to the front, First Avenue to the back and First and Second streets on either side.
  • Enhancing its overall value: 92 parking spots.

Leasing has continued there as well through Hardy Realty. Seven spaces together covering 24,261 square feet are available on the first, second, third or fourth floors. The going rate is $12.50 per square foot. For more, contact Jimmy Byars at 706-291-4321.

SunTrust is one of several Second Avenue frontage buildings on the market. The building where Keller Williams is based, at 200 E. Second Ave., also is on the market (19,344 square feet; asking price is $863,000).

Now, the potential:

One of the recent success stories in downtown Rome has been Heritage First Bank’s purchase of 501 Broad St. In addition to bank services, teller lanes and dedicated parking, it has given Heritage First ample access to what’s unfolding on Broad Street. Likewise, leasing efforts continue for some of the space the bank doesn’t need at this time (the most recent tenant is Cevian Design Lab following the sale of its office in the 200 block of Broad Street).

The Heritage First purchase came at a time when some banks were moving to smaller quarters — or closing branches outright. Instead, bank managers have taken a multiuse approach, including serving as the base of numerous after-hours gatherings associated with events at the DeSoto Theatre and others.

Like Heritage First’s Broad Street home, SunTrust offers ample parking in a relatively short walk to Broad Street. The proximity to the red-hot 200 block also is a plus. It likewise is close to where a potential new downtown parking deck would rise (above the Rome Transit lot) but that’s at least a few years down the road.

A wild card option we heard on Wednesday, one we never considered: Is there a potential for conversion to residential? With the right sales price, perhaps so. Downtown living — especially rentals of $1,300 or more a month — remains in demand. So does adequate parking, which this site has to offer.



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