Offices, Retail Planned for Former Claussen Bakery

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The former Claussen Bakery property at 400 Augusta St. is getting a $6.3 million makeover into an adaptive reuse project that will house offices and retail space.

Currently, the historic building is vacant and gutted on the interior with significant structural issues. The approximately 40,000-square-foot building will become a mixed-use redevelopment containing retail and services-related businesses on the ground level and Class A offices on the second floor.

“Upstairs will be an open office concept – a very creative space with very few interior office walls,” said Steve Navarro, president of the Furman Co. and managing member of the partnership that purchased the building. Navarro said that the upstairs space is really “conducive for one large tenant.”

McMillian Pazdan Smith came up with the design concept. “They are very creative,” said Navarro.

Downstairs will have about 16,000 square feet of space that will open onto Augusta Street. The space could accommodate one destination retailer who wants all the square footage, or the space can be divided as small as 1,400 square feet, said Navarro. He envisions startup-type companies, eclectic businesses and retailers with maybe a “service goods component” to occupy the building.

“Really it’s anyone that would like the downtown environment with walking distance to Main Street and the West End, but can’t afford the Main Street prices,” said Navarro. Rental rates downtown are averaging $25 triple net while rates for this property will be “in the $12 triple net range,” he said.

Construction will require changes to non-historic structures while attempting to maintain the integrity of the original structure and its components. Plans call for a lot of natural light including a new two-story glass window that will have a view of nearby Fluor Field. The space will be illuminated at night and baseball game-goers will be able to see into the building.

Bike racks – both indoor and outdoor – will be included along with shower facilities, common restrooms, plenty of parking and a dog run. “We want to be pet-friendly and to make the space as friendly and inviting as possible,” said Navarro.

Construction is set to begin immediately with some sandblasting and roofing work that can be done before the plans go in front of the Design Review Board next month. The space is anticipated to be ready in January or February of 2015. Currently no tenants have signed leases, but Navarro says he feels there is “enough demand” to build out the project on spec.

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The Claussen Bakery was founded by Johann Claussen, an immigrant from Germany. Claussen had founded the original Claussen steam bakery location in Charleston in 1841 and had expanded to Augusta, Ga., Columbia, S.C., Savannah, Ga., and Greenville by 1930.

According to news reports, more than 20,000 people toured the facility prior to its opening in August 1930. Claussen remained open as a bakery until October 1973. Ownership of the property changed throughout the years – from Claussen to Daisy Foods to Southern Bakeries and finally to Brown Baking Company. At the time of its closing, the company employed more than 350 people, served more than two-thirds of South Carolina and had a payroll of $3 million.

 

 

Project Partners:

Developer: Furman Development

General Contractor: Harper Construction

Architect: McMillian Pazdan Smith

Marketed By: CBRE

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