SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - A company is backing out of the $8.5 million purchase of a city of Savannah-owned building right next to City Hall.
Foram Development, LLC wrote a letter to the city last month notifying staff they were backing out. Their president said in the letter to the city that after months of diligence exploring the building and analyzing market conditions, they wouldn’t be able to close at the agreed upon price.
The historic building was to become a residential condo development with a rooftop garden. Had the sale gone through, the city stood to net more than $9 million including sale proceeds and incremental tax revenues. Now, the city will have to find a new buyer, and thanks to a new Georgia law, the city can hire a real estate company to help market properties. That company will be Colliers International, and the next step is for the broker to take over and submit the paperwork for the sale of the Thomas Gamble Building.
According to city records, Savannah bought the building in the early 1940s for $25,000. Since then, it’s housed a variety of municipal offices. City staff says the building is outdated for government operations, and in need of major renovations.
“The job of the city is not to develop where developers are dying to develop. The job of the city, with public money, is to develop where we need redevelopment,” said Alderman Brian Foster, At-Large, Post 2.
Foram won the bidding process out of three companies total when the request for proposal went public.