It's a project that's years in the making. Now the city of Savannah is changing course.
On Thursday, city council voted to surplus a shopping center the city owns – the first step in selling the property to a developer.
The city paid $1.6 million for the shopping center in 2009. They were going to put in two police precincts, but that was before they found out two tenants had iron-clad, long-term leases and that the building has structural problems.
Council members tell WTOC a developer wants to pay at least as much as the city did for the property, and the developer has promised to follow a revitalization plan for the shopping center that residents already have approved.
"I always wanted us to maintain the control of the property, but you also have to look at a business proposition that is good all around," District 2 Councilwoman Mary Osborne said. "And as the residents get what we want from the property, I'm fine with the city recouping its money."
The city is hoping the new developer will bring in businesses that area residents have wanted for years – a grocery store and a pharmacy.