Savannah city council considers funding for new parking garage

Savannah city council considers funding for new parking garage
Source: WTOC

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Savannah city council will be discussing a project Thursday that has been years in the making.

The parking garage that’s being built on West River Street is a partnership between the Downtown Savannah Authority and hotelier, Richard Kessler.

The Plant Riverside District Parking Deck Project is asking the city for more funding. The public/private partnership will benefit both the city and the new hotel complex by building over 400 spaces for mixed use. The city will get half of the spots in the garage for public use, and the hotel entertainment district will get the other half.

At Thursday’s regular meeting, city council will have its second reading of a $10 million bond application to fund the garage.

This project has been in the works since 2016 but has not avoided issues. An old dock that was deep in the water delayed construction 219 days and cost the project an extra $13 million.

The city says, so far, they haven't seen many issues or objections from the public, and believe people are largely in favor of the project. They say at the first reading earlier this summer, they were mainly asking the city to look into the bond, and now they will officially be requesting those funds.

City leaders say they hope the biggest issues are over now.

"The city in 2016 issued $13 million in bonds for the parking garage that will serve the Plant Riverside area. During this past year during construction, which is done by the Kessler corporation, the Kessler company's contractor encountered unforeseen circumstances," said Pat Monahan, Interim City Manager for Savannah.

The developer is hoping to open the first round of the Riverside Plant District by mid-December, and then the parking deck should follow.

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