Big decisions being made Thursday at Savannah city council meeting

Big decisions being made Thursday at Savannah city council meeting
This property located in Savannah Forsyth Park has been vacant for about two years. Now, the company Southern Cross Hospitality wants to open a cafe.

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Savannah City Council is set to meet today for their regular meeting, and we’re expecting them to make some big decisions.

After Thursday’s meeting, the city of Savannah could be one step closer to breaking ground on its new arena.

Council members are expected to vote on who will be the management company for the new multi-million-dollar space.

Of the companies interested in handling the arena, it looks like city council has their eyes on the Oak View Group.

The city already has a design architect, construction manager, and a project manager lined up for the construction of the new arena, which is set to be built in West Savannah. The city now needs to find a firm to handle maintenance and operations and would cover all operating costs. Staff members have been working to find the right team and it looks like the city is in favor the Oak View Group. However, a competing firm says there were legal deficiencies in the selection process and the firm wants city council to reconsider its choice.

The assistant city manager says this type of protest from a competing party is common and the public shouldn’t doubt the procedure.

Another topic on the table Thursday is deciding whether to allow a popular, local restaurant company to open a new spot in Forsyth Park.

If you’ve been to Forsyth Park, then you’ve probably walked by this vacant space. It’s prime real estate located right in the heart of Forsyth Park - a place that’s heavily visited by locals and tourists every day.

This property has been vacant for about two years. Now, the company Southern Cross Hospitality, who owns popular downtown spots like Collins Quarter and The Fitzroy, wants to open a cafe.

According to the agreement, the city would gain around $72,000 annually and the agreement would expire in 2024.

WTOC spoke to one of the managers of Collins Quarter to get more details about what we could expect for the new dining space.

"The name is going to be Collins Quarter at Forsyth Park. We will have a full espresso bar, gelato, and ice cream," says Rebecca Schmidt, Barista, Southern Cross Hospitality.

Southern Cross Hospitality was one of five groups that put a bid in for the lease. City council is expected to make a decision Thursday afternoon.

Another big topic up for discussion Thursday is an agreement with Chatham County commissioners to improve parts of Veterans Parkway.

To view Savannah City Council’s full meeting agenda for Thursday, April 25, click here.

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