Grocery store, hotel listed in development plan east of the Historic District

President’s Square development includes retail, grocery store, possible hotel on 16-acre site
Published: Feb. 22, 2022 at 4:59 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 22, 2022 at 7:31 PM EST
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - A city agreement with a private landowner could transform the eastern gateway into Savannah’s Historic District.

Sixteen acres of land south of East President Street between Truman Parkway and General McIntosh Boulevard has sat mostly empty for years. The only landmarks are a dilapidated warehouse and a homeless camp in a nearby wooded area owned by the city of Savannah.

A agreement reached between Riverview President Street, LLC and the City of Savannah would resolve a pending lawsuit with the city and allow the property owner to pursue plans to rezone the land into a mixed-use commercial development called President’s Square. A site plan for the development includes a hotel or multi-family residential, a grocery store, office/retail space and open park space.

The agreement and plans are listed on the Savannah City Council agenda and are expected to be discussed and possibly decided during the regular meeting on Thursday.

As a part of the agreement, the property owner will tear down the dilapidated warehouse and provide an assortment public easements needed by the City of Savannah to improve drainage and sewage for the area, according to a copy of the development agreement.

Here’s a closer look at some aspects of the agreement:

  1. The land owner will give city a public right-of-way needed to widen the Bilbo canal, East President Street and a temporary construction easement for the Oglethorpe force main project.
  2. Additionally, the land owner will contribute $2 million dollars toward the city’s canal construction.
  3. The blighted warehouse will be demolished within five years and the city will dismiss the blight lawsuit.
  4. City manager and zoning staff agree to support the rezoning of the property from light industrial to Community Business District or Downtown Central Business District.
  5. In exchange, the city agrees to convey an adjacent 3.3-acre tract of city land at no cost to the land owner.

The Savannah City Council is expected to discuss the development agreement and take a vote during its regular meeting planned for 6:30 pm Thursday at City Hall.

WTOC has requested an interview with Riverview President Street, LLC about the plans.

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