“We‘re very excited to see which tenants come to the development.”
Vice President of Leasing
July 13, 2018
On April 3rd of 2018, rebusinessonline.com reported that Meybohm Commercial Properties was nearing completion on the first building at The Plaza at Evans Towne Center, the $60 million mixed-use project in Evans.
Meybohm had been chosen to by county leaders to partner in the city center project. What concessions Meybohm received is unclear, but one thing is not, the prestige of the project is worth tens of thousands of dollars in free publicity. The “Meybohm” building sits in the most prime location in Evans, sandwiched between the county owned Evans Towne Center Park and the under construction county owned performing arts center.
In what has to be an embarrassment for the locally grown real estate company, even with the explosive growth of the CSRA, the highest profile project they have is sitting unused, devoid of paying tenants.
“We will immediately begin targeting high end tenants for this development on the scale of The Avalon in Alpharetta Birkdale Village in Huntersville, North Carolina and also South Park in Charleston. Meybohm Commercial Properties will be the exclusive marketing real estate company for this project. Our team of agents will begin immediately going to market with this center, talking to tenants, and professsional tenants for the entire site. As you can see by the plans on the board after this announcement, Meybohm will occupy a large section of the first building, about 20,000 square feet,” Lionel Prather explained at the September 2018 grand opening of the Meybohm Building, the first of three planned Plaza office buildings.
Everyone in attendance was very excited, and almost a year later, perhaps that excitement has worn off a little.
No tenants have announced they were moving into the building besides Your Pie, which committed to the project well before the grand opening last year and has yet to begin construction.
Insiders are wondering if the mid $30 per square foot Meybohm is asking is too high for the county. In Columbia county, office space is in the $20 per square foot range, and new build restaurants can be had for $18 per square foot. While the rate makes sense to some, the fact is there isn’t the buzz that surrounded the initial plan for the area, the mixed use live/work/play concept that was floated then abandoned. There may not be a need for 60,000 square feet of top dollar office space and 75,000 square feet of restaurant space. Real estate companies do not lower their asking price on commercial space, instead waiting for the market to come around to the asking price.
Will Meybohm continue on with buildings two and three to complete their commitment? Time will tell, but there are whispers around the CSRA that they may not. Will they break ground on another building with an empty one sitting beside it? No. Not in a million years.
If it is determined there isn’t a market for the expensive leasable space planned, how does that affect the design of the town center concept that relies almost exclusively on leasable space?
Many feel it is a question worth asking.