Bon Air changes ownership

Published 6:07 pm Tuesday, January 6, 2015

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The Bon Air apartments on Water Street are popular for renters and offer a prime view of downtown. — Powell Cobb

The Bon Air, one of the most historical buildings in Bainbridge, has been sold by Hal Carter to locals Tom Conger and Reese Rollins.

The purchase price was not disclosed.

Living in Sylvester and having to commute 70 miles to Bainbridge was just one of the reasons Carter decided to sell the building. But he believes the Bon Air is in more than capable hands.

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“They have promised me faithfully not to change anything,” Carter said.

Not that Conger and Rollins would think to do such a thing. For the two new owners, the saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” comes to mind.

“They’ve done a good job of maintaining it and we plan on doing as good a job as they have and having it a great (place to live),” Conger said.

When Conger and Rollins were approached about purchasing the building, the more they about it, the more they liked it. Rollins had experience renovating his family’s home on Shotwell Street and Conger had recently redone his law office on Water Street. Owning the Bon Air would put them closer to downtown Bainbridge, a place they see growing in popularity every day with the recent downtown movement.

“I think the downtown area is slowly picking up with restaurants and Artsy on the Square and Maiden South,” Conger said. “We just have some cool areas we don’t have in every small town. I just hope it will continue.”

Carter originally purchased the building in 1999, a time when a major portion of the back wall was falling apart and the three floors could be seen from the street.

“It looked like a dollhouse,” Carter described.

For two and a half years and six days week, Carter worked on the future apartments until they were open for renting in late 2001. He called it the most impressive thing he had ever done in his life.

“It was a labor of love,” Carter said. “We put everything we had into it.”

He and his wife, Priscilla, have mixed emotions about letting the building go. A powerful amount of Decatur County history runs through its walls, and the two are proud to have added to the Bon Air’s legacy.