Savannah City Council approves West Downtown redevelopment plan

Savannah City Council approves West dowtown redevelopment plan

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Savannah City Council approved a resolution Thursday to put the West Downtown Urban Redevelopment Plan into action.

The whole idea focuses on redeveloping and revitalizing a blighted commercial and industrial area experiencing a number of problems.

A lot of visitors think downtown ends at Bay Street and Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard.
City leaders are hoping this plan will shine a light on an area of town they believe has a lot of potential.

A high vacancy rate, economic obsolescence and under development are just a few of the things the west downtown urban redevelopment plan will hopefully put an end to in Savannah.

"For some time now, we've had a lot of under development on the western edge of downtown. We see that is a critical area, particularly moving forward, to really bridge between the historic district and our new Canal District that we're planning, where the arena is going to sit. So we want to encourage growth out there," said Bret Bell, Savannah city spokesperson.

Bell says there is some major private developments jumping on board with this initiative, about $330 million of private investment.

"We want to take advantage of that growth to make sure that those who live in this area, benefit from this private growth," said Bell.

Bell says this initiative is also about taking care of the people who live in that area, especially in the Yamacraw Village area, by helping them grow within the new economy.

"The plan address is a lot of different things. But again, the one thing in particular that it addresses, is it creates a job training program for those who reside in this one Census tract. Which again, encompasses the Yamacraw Village area. It has about a 90 percent poverty rates in there," said Bell.

For more information on the city's detailed plan, click here.

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