Home Depot's setting up a new home for itself on Savannah's east side. The home improvement chain will begin work on its third store in Chatham County next month. Home Depot plans to demolish Scotty's hardware store next to the old Kmart store in the Victory Drive shopping center off Skidaway Road.
The plan is making waves and it's news to some city leaders, including Alderwoman Mary Osborne. "I was very surprised and very, very, very, very pleased to hear we have such a major anchor back at the...old Kmart site," she said.
Hardcore hardware shoppers across town from the existing Home Depots couldn't be happier. "They need something in this area, cause there is nothing here," said Savannahian Don Prescott.
As Mary Osborne says, as a consumer, convenience is the key word. "The men who do the work will say, 'I have to run to the Southside to pick up supplies,'" she said. "Now they don't have to, it's right down the block."
Beside convenience, Osborne says a new inner city home depot will bring as many as 150 new jobs, increase the city tax base, and clean up the shopping plaza. "The blight will be gone and we'll have our beautiful orange-and-white Home Depot," she said.
The project calls for the demolition of some buildings, including the current Scotty's hardware store, where the new Home Depot will be built. We spoke with the owner of Hancock Fabrics, Robert Haas. He claims the fabric store will be incorporated into the whole Home Depot project. But on the other hand, he says the lease for Scotty's hardware, right next door, has not been renewed, and they will be leaving. Haas declined an on-camera interview. Scotty's owners could not be reached for comment.
The specific details have been kept confidential. Even employees of the other two local Home Depots were kept in the dark, until now. Home Depot plans on starting construction next month, and could wrap up by the end of August.