AUGUSTA, Ga. (WFXG) - It’s known as one of downtown Augusta’s most prominent buildings and soon it could see big changes. With a developer on board, the estimated $12M plan appears to be in action.

You may know the Lamar Building by its towering heights, or by its distinctive glass-paneled penthouse. However, in time, you might recognize it as a place to live. 

"Having that market in the downtown area is good for business, its good for the city…It’s just good for downtown.” said District 1 Commissioner Jordan Johnson.

Scaffolding can now be seen outside the Lamar Building - indicating change is on the way.

"It’s really good to see that the Lamar Building is going to get a facelift because it’s needed. I mean, I remember going in the building with my mom waiting to finish working or waiting for her to finish talking to her boss, or you know, everyday office things.” said Commissioner Johnson.

The DDA says the plan involves redeveloping the building into 70 market-rate apartments. Those units would be located above ground-floor commercial space. Meantime, District 1 Commissioner Jordan Johnson believes downtown still needs affordable housing.

“Not affordable in terms of market, affordable in terms of what people can afford. The fact that you have people living in hotels, they can afford to live day by day in a hotel but not in a home in a community – it’s alarming.” said Commissioner Johnson.

He feels the city also needs more access to food. 

“There are a few grocery stores in talks with the city right now, no hard commitments on the table.” said Commissioner Johnson.

As work at the Lamar gets underway, Commissioner Johnson says the city is trying to find ways to bring in more affordable housing options.

“We have had numerous conversations about leveraging American Rescue Plan dollars and other federal funds to acquire blighted property and turn those into affordable homes.” said Commissioner Johnson.

The Lamar Building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. It survived the 1916 Great Fire of Augusta. Finished in 1918 after fire damage, the Lamar was one of the first "modern" office buildings in the city, designed by architect G. Lloyd Preacher of Augusta and Atlanta and architect W. L. Stoddard of New York. The penthouse on top of the building was designed by internationally known architect I. M. Pei and partners and was completed in 1976. 

You can read more about its history below.

FOX54 is awaiting renderings and timeline details from the developer. The additional information will be shared once it is received. 

Copyright 2022 WFXG. All rights reserved.