Savannah sees record building permitting in 2018

Savannah sees record building permitting in 2018

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Some record setting permitting for development happened in Savannah last year.

Savannah City Council members heard from the Development Services Department Thursday during their work session.

As projects are completed, that means more places to stay, live, and eat, as well as businesses and city departments to call home.

Giving council a look back at last year’s numbers was the Director for Development Services, Julie McLean. One of the first slides of her presentation highlighted the $547-million total for permitted building projects, meaning companies are investing that much around Savannah to build.

That’s the second highest amount on record. Breaking a record was permitting for new commercial construction.

“It was the highest year so far on record. Total dollars for new commercial construction was $357-million. So very, very good news," McLean said.

About $190-million of that amount was for new apartment construction permits. Alderman Brian Foster did ask about the length of the permitting process, saying one engineer brought to his attention faster times in neighboring cities.

McLean said even though more permits applications are coming in, they still have a finite staff, sometimes taking them longer to address certain parts of the process. That said, McLean had this to add.

“Staff review times are actually within the benchmarks, but where, we try to time beginning to end, but a lot of times it is the client response times is what really drives up the overall permitting time.”

McLean highlighted the top 20 permitted projects happening around the city, which include the Eastern Wharf project at the east end of River Street, 630 Indian Street Apartments at the west end of River Street and The Ellis Apartments off President Street.

Alderman Bill Durrence did make a point to mention the city doesn’t get $547-million from the permits. Again, that’s the amount invested in the projects by developers.

Copyright 2019 WTOC. All rights reserved.