Savannah City Council to vote on proposed apartment complex near Forsyth Park

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - The neighborhood where you can find one of Savannah's most iconic landmarks could soon see big changes.

An important Savannah City Council vote takes place Thursday involving the area east of Forsyth Park.

Council is considering a 119-unit apartment complex which could change the historic nature of the Victorian District. The view out the windows could include a five or six story apartment complex.

"This is a historic neighborhood. People come here for its history," Edie Schmidt said, a 30-year Victorian District resident.

Right now, zoning regulations prevent developments like this because it's protected in the Victorian District.

"This is a beautiful district and I think the spirit of this district has to be maintained," Jack Patterson said, a 21-year resident of the Historic District.

A developer seeks to rezone the land, making it a standard residential area.

"This is a neighborhood. Where people live. We've lived here over 30 years. We've put a lot of sweat equity into this house," Schmidt said.

The Chatham-Savannah Metropolitan Planning Commission voted to deny the proposal about a month ago. City Council gets its say on Thursday.

If the vote passes, the building would be five stories on Drayton Street and six stories on Abercorn Street, with the first two levels as a 148-space parking garage.

To top it off, there would also be 1,500 square feet of retail space.

People around here think that is an overkill.

"The height of the building would be above the trees in Forsyth Park. It doesn't quite fit," Patterson said.

To build the complex, they would also demolish this two-story office building and Escape Savannah, an immersive escape room entertainment experience.

"I think it would take away from the environment because it goes against the historic district. It's like a new concrete jungle type building," said Camille Williams, nearby resident.

If the proposal passes, this zone right here would no longer be one of the six districts in the Victorian Planned Neighborhood Conservation district which has been around for almost 40 years.

WTOC will keep you updated with that final vote.

Copyright 2017 WTOC. All rights reserved.