Total System Services

Columbus, GA

Total System Services Inc. (TSYS) is an 80-percent-owned subsidiary of Synovus Financial Corp. and the second largest credit card processor in the United States.

TSYS wanted to concentrate operations for improved efficiency, productivity and communications in an urban renewal area in downtown Columbus, GA.

Unfortunately, the site had extensive issues that required remediation, including the fact it housed abandoned, dilapidated textile factories that were in complete disrepair. Under the factory buildings sat remnants of Civil War era homes, an old Creek Indian settlement and a great deal of debris, which had to be carefully excavated and removed. In addition, the site was next to the Chattahoochee River, which could rise 15 to 20 feet following several days of rain and pose potential flooding issues. Finally, the State Historic Preservation Office required that any new structures historically reference those of Columbus. past, which could potentially create further design and execution challenges.


As master developer, Cousins Properties recommended creating a riverfront campus and performed the master planning for the four phases, which ultimately provided extensive telecommunications capacity and state-of-the-art security features required by this major financial institution. Before development began, Cousins stabilized the river bank, working with numerous agencies such as the Corps of Engineers, HUD, the National Park Service and the National Historic Trust to avoid potential flooding, while maintaining the site.s historical relevance.

Nearly half of all credit card transactions flow through Columbus, and the building.s interiors included state-of-the-art technology for the team that supports those transactions. TSYS implemented open-office architecture with 10-foot ceilings and daylight views for 75 percent of the typical floorplate. The managers. offices are against the core . allowing employees in conference and collaboration to enjoy the views and daylight. In addition, TSYS responded to the historic preservation challenge by designing its parking deck to resemble an old mill factory made of brick with open windows for ventilation. TSYS. campus is integral to the City.s Riverwalk on the Chattahoochee, which is open to the public and provides the company.s employees with access to a 22-mile walking and biking path.

The project was delivered on time and within budget, and transformed a transitional area of downtown Columbus into a Class A office development, while respecting the area.s rich history and location near the Chattahoochee River.

In 1999, the building won Building Project of the Year from the Georgia Chapter Association of Building Contractors, and the Energy Efficiency Award from Trane and Georgia Power.