Our People

The Thomas Building Construction at Toomer’s Corner Completed in Auburn

Press Release
The Thomas Building at Toomer's Corner is Retail Specialists most recent project
The Thomas Building at Toomer’s Corner is the newest building in downtown Auburn.


CONTACT: Michelle Moultrie
Retail Specialists

BIRMINGHAM, AL (August 22, 2019) – Retail Specialists, LLC announced today that its Auburn, Ala. mixed-use project at The Thomas Building has been completed and is fully leased. The project, across from the Toomer’s Corner Oaks and Toomer’s Drugs, houses BBVA on the first and second floors and three luxury apartments on the third floor. Each apartment features two bedrooms, rooftop access and a balcony. The project started in Spring 2018, and the apartments are now fully leased. Residents can roll Toomer’s Oaks from the roof top amenity.

“This has been an extremely special project for our team,” said Rodney Barstein, executive vice president of Retail Specialists. “I was pleased to deliver this project on budget, with all the units leased. We had fun working on this development and are proud to be part of the Auburn community.”

I was pleased to deliver this project on budget, with all the units leased.

Rodney Barstein

The Thomas Building has a long history in Auburn, named for John Madison Thomas, who developed much of what is now downtown Auburn. He built the first theater in town and developed the first hotel on Main Street. The land has been in the family since the late 1800’s.

“It’s a big part of our family history,” said Suzanne Herring, the owner of the building. “It started in the  1800’s when my great-grandfather owned and built half of downtown. In a time now when so many buildings that he originally built are being torn down, this is the last of that family heritage. To keep this building in such a prominent part of downtown, it’s really special. Being that it’s right on the corner across from Toomer’s, we feel like this will always be an iconic area.”

The Thomas Building at Toomer's Corner by Retail Specialists
The Thomas Building at Toomer’s Corner by Retail Specialists

Throughout the 1940’s and 1950’s, the building went through numerous renovations and has been home to the Masonic Lodge, The Kandy Kitchen, and First National Bank of Auburn. The newly constructed building totals 18,500 square feet, with 6,275 square feet of the space allocated for the apartments on the top floor.

“We designed it to fit in with the University and the buildings around it. We added one floor but wanted to be mindful of not building it too tall. We felt like it was an adequate height for the buildings around it and wanted it to feel quaint just like Auburn’s downtown. It’s built with steel and concrete so it will be part of Auburn for a very long time,” finished Herring.

The architect for the building was Stacy Norman Architects, LLC. The general contractor was Rabren General Contractors. Financing was made available through Auburn Bank, and Auburn Realty, LLC is handling the leasing of the apartments. All companies are based in Auburn.

About Retail Specialists

Retail Specialists, LLC (RSI) is a commercial real estate company with offices in Birmingham, AL, and Atlanta, GA. RSI focuses on brokerage, retail project leasing, tenant representation, property management and development. Retail Specialists is agile, proactive, and responsive with the objective of providing unparalleled service and results to our clients. A unique mix of experience, technology, and tenacity allow success in a business we love. RSI is licensed in eight southern states including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Tennessee and currently represents retailers, developers, and retail property owners throughout this territory.

rsi logo stack


rodney barstein

Rodney Barstein

Executive Vice President




Join the conversation

Sign up for our quarterly newsletter to receive business and real estate insights, news, videos, podcasts, and more!