MOULTRIE -- The Colquitt Tower building across from the courthouse has been receiving a makeover since July 2003 and is in final preparations to hold an open house.

The building was purchased by Hal and Priscilla Carter last July from the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation. The Carters, who run Hal Carter Construction Company in Sylvester, had previously restored the Willard Hotel in Sylvester and the BonAir in Bainbridge. They learned about the Colquitt Tower through that previous work with the Georgia Trust and wanted to obtain and rejuvenate it.

Priscilla Carter said she and her husband wanted to make the building something new while working to preserve its history. The work being done on the building is close to completion, and she hopes to hold an open house soon.

"It's a great old building," Carter said, "and we've had to overcome a few obstacles, but we're real close to having it all ready to go."

To get the building into its current condition, Carter said she spent months scraping the original plaster from the walls and painted over the walls and columns with a marble appearance finish. The original building was made of concrete, so a mahogany wood finish was painted on beams across the ceiling. The lobby's terrazzo floor still needs to be polished and carpet replaced, but she said the building was able to update yet maintain its history.

The Tower will have a restaurant and community business on the first floor, more business space on the second and third floors and apartments on the top floor, Carter said.

The apartments are considered high-end luxury apartments with "one of the best views in town," Carter said. There will be a total of five apartments available, consisting of two two-bed/two-bath units and three one bed/one bath units. Each apartment has a full kitchen and space for a washer and dryer. Little things in the units are still being finished, but Carter hopes to make them available to rent within 30 days.

Several people have been asking about renting one of the five apartments, and Carter said she has applications available now for anyone interested.

Carter said the office space for the second and third floor is currently under construction because she is trying to locate businesses interested in using the space. The space's windows are being replaced and some walls have being reconstructed, but Carter is willing to work with any interested businesses on space and location concerns.

The building currently houses the law offices of Kenneth B. Still and the Plantation Antiques antique store, but no one has taken the restaurant and kitchen available on the ground floor. Carter said the kitchen is set and ready for someone to use, and they just need someone who is interested in using it.

Carter said anyone who is interested in renting one of the apartments or leasing available office space can contact her at (229) 776-5865.

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