SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - The City of Savannah experienced a record-breaking level of building construction in 2015.
We hear a lot about Pooler and the great things going on there, but Savannah remains the hub of Chatham County.
The Mariner Grove Apartments project on President Street was the largest permit issued. This project, just over $35 million, was one of thousands of permits granted this year. It is not just more money being put into our economy, it means jobs as well.
"With over $405 million dollars spent last year, that is more than anything we have ever seen," said Director Julie McLean, city engineer. "The largest permit we gave out this year was the Mariner Groves Apartment complex, which is currently under construction on President Street. SCAD has a lot of new construction underway, new dormitories over there near the Talmadge."
Buildings going up left and right, meeting the demand of our visitors, and needs of those that call Savannah home.
"We also approved 1,700 new businesses and that was also a record. I cannot give you an exact number, but that means more jobs here," said McLean.
"Thankfully they are spending a lot of money in this community and that benefits everyone whether you are in tourism or not," said Savannah Tourism Council President/CEO Michael Owens.
Savannah is changing. So are those that visit.
"These new developments, whether hotels, vacation rentals, B and B's. All of these things are offering our visitors another option. We are not a cookie cutter destination and neither is our visitor," said Owens.
With much of the attention given to Pooler in 2015 with the new Tanger Outlets, and all the new living communities. It is important to note, Savannah is right there with them.
"It is certainly cooler in Pooler. There are a lot of cool things going on in Pooler. But Savannah is the base of it all and we continue to see the growth, we continue to see the economic generation continue," said Owens.
"We know a lot of the hotel construction is driven by tourism. Last year we had more than 13 million tourists visit our city. We also have a strong base with SCAD and their growing student body. We just have a really good commercial base," said McLean.
The Development Services job is to support record-level growth and development in our community, but also make sure the protection of public health, safety, as well as preserving historic sites in Savannah.
Talking about the future, the department received the largest building permit plan submittal ever for the Plant Riverside project on West River Street. Work will begin in 2016. The total building construction value for that project alone is over $130 million.