COB 2: Filling it softly


Usually the first to arrive on the scene, Albemarle's fire and rescue departments were the last to move into the county's new digs on 5th Street Extended. In early January, they joined Albemarle County's housing, social services, and police departments in what's being dubbed "County Office Building– 5th Street."

The 125,000 square-foot former Wachovia bank operations center is nowhere near full. "It was purchased with an eye for future growth through 2025," says county spokeswoman Lee Catlin, who remains ensconced at COB 1 on McIntire Road. "It's a really nice building."

Wachovia reportedly spent $13 million developing it in 1997, but sold it to the county in 2002 for $7 million. Albemarle spent another $3.5 million to renovate.

According to Catlin, the social services department is enjoying the roominess that provides more privacy for its clients. And Albemarle has so much extra space that it's renting out offices to the Virginia Cooperative Extension and the Commission on Children and Families.