Southside neighborhood to go through major changes

Southside neighborhood to go through major changes

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - A Southside Savannah neighborhood that sits between Abercorn Street and White Bluff Road on Wilshire Boulevard is about to go through some major changes.

Most homeowners would fear what these want: more commercial development on their properties. However, 13 years ago, residents along Wilshire Blvd and Redwood Circle asked the city to rezone their property to commercial instead of residential.

Alderman Tony Thomas knows the neighborhood's woes.

"We were looking at the quality of life of those residents being impacted by two main arterial roads," he said.

This low key, relatively quiet neighborhood is quite often used as a cut through from White Bluff to Abercorn, and homeowners said enough back then.

Now, more than a decade later, the timing may be right for developers to come in and take over these homes

"When this property was originally rezoned, it may have been a little ahead of its time." Thomas continued, "Timing of course, nobody expected the world economy to crash like it did."

It's a sign that the economy is rebounding and owners may finally get what they asked for so long ago.

Carey Parker has lived on Wilshire Blvd for most of his life he's one of 30 residents that have conceded their property to a developer. While he says he's sad to go, he also said, "It's time to make progress; time to move on."

However, the renters seem to have been left in the dark. Courtney Pringle and her family have rented their home on Wilshire Boulevard for 6 years.

"We're unaware." Courtney said. "I just know today because you told us, so it's crazy that they're going to build a grocery store. This is a beautiful neighborhood."

The grocery store is slated to be the anchor of the parcel of land with the possibilities of dine-in restaurants, tattoo parlors and even a funeral home.

Parker thinks a grocery store would be good for the community.

"With so many apartment complexes and single family homes, a grocery store would be just perfect around here," he said.

But, its leaving renters in search of new homes.

"I love it, but hey, it's time to go," Pringle said.

So what about the traffic on Abercorn? The city did a specific study just two weeks ago, and the Truman has alleviated a lot of traffic north of where it empties onto Abercorn Street.

The Metropolitan Planning Commission has still requested that the City of Savannah Engineering Department do another study on White Bluff to Wilshire traffic.

The MPC meets Tuesday on the development where it should pass, and the ball will get rolling on changing the face of this neighborhood.

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