City of Savannah approves location for new Central Precinct - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

City of Savannah approves location for new Central Precinct

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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

The City of Savannah unanimously approved the purchase of property for the final location for their new Central Police Precinct.

They decided to buy property at W. 33rd Street and 34th Streets between Montgomery and MLK.  

It's been a decision several years in the making.

The city had been grooming a shopping center at Waters Avenue and 36th Street, but on Thursday, they named a different location as their top pick.

The property would cost the city a little more than $1 million, buying it out from the lone property owners, Century Investors.

They would turn the neighborhood into the new Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Central Precinct, in the process eliminating blight and attacking an area which has been a crime problem in recent years.

But, would people be forced from their homes?

When asked if people would have to move and the project would be a total reconstruction from scratch, Savannah City Council member Estella Shabazz replied, "That is not true."

"I invite the media to go out there. It is a very high crime area, very many vacant properties," she said.

I did go out to the area and spoke to the people who live there to see if they had any idea their homes could soon be no more and they would be forced to move.

Shabazz said the buildings were run down, dilapidated and abandoned, and there were some. But there were also homes, many of them, with families who had no idea they will have to be looking for a new place to live somewhere down the road.

City officials said all the row houses and homes will have to be torn down, and the people who live in them will have to relocate. The trees will also be removed as the city starts from scratch and builds a new Central Precinct in their place.

But the mothers and children and families here had no idea.. They thought I was there to give them news about the city cracking down on crime, and 78-year-old Adel Wines was one of them.

"We heard nothing," she said. "Nobody talked to us."

When asked if the news was surprising, Wines replied, "No, not exactly, because the crime is so bad." When asked about having to move, she said that she really didn't want to do it.

"No, I'm 78 years old. I don't really want to move. I just bought the house. I had cancer, I'm a diabetic. I had a stroke," she said.

It's a tough situation for people who live in the area, blindsided by the new, which will officially be broken to them by their landlords, Century Investors.

They will now be selling the property to the City of Savannah. There is no word on when the deal will be finalized, but tenants would have 30 days from the day the sale is final to be off the property as the city gets set to build the new precinct.

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