Savannah city council approves zoning change for new marina and restaurant at Bell’s Landing

Published: Jan. 28, 2023 at 10:45 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 28, 2023 at 11:14 PM EST
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - A new marina restaurant is in the works for Savannah’s southside at Bell’s Landing.

Parts of the foundation for the old restaurant and marina still remain at Bell’s Landing after a February 2006 fire left them destroyed.

Now new life is planned for the site after Savannah’s city council voted Thursday to rezone the land to a maritime business district.

Savannah Alderman Kurtis Purtee represents the Bell’s Landing area.

“It’s going to help clean this area up. It’s going to provide that service to folks. It’s going to help provide a little bit of an economic driver, I believe,” Purtee said.

According to the Metropolitan Planning Commission, developer 12500 Apache LP plans to build the restaurant and marina just off Apache Ave.

Conceptual plans show spaces for rooftop dining and boat docks.

Candi Miller says she was a bartender at the old restaurant for three years before it burned down.

“It was sad because it was kind of an institution. I mean it really was a community. It was regulars, people that I go to see every day,” Candi Miller said.

And while Miller says she’s excited to once again see a restaurant here, some neighbors are still worried about noise and traffic.

An MPC staff report says: “There is a concern that the proposed restaurant with on-site alcohol consumption may expand their minimum parking requirements without a dedicated overflow for customer parking and that it may overflow onto Fulton Road.”

Purtee says the developer has agreed to allow for some overflow parking.

“We’re going to look at some opportunities for parking for not only single vehicles, but for vehicles with boat trailers attached to them,” said Purtee.

Despite the concerns, Miller hopes the restaurant will return a sense of community to this now empty lot.

“I think it needs to have a place for people to come back and have some enjoyment and lunch and I hope that they get to where the boats come back up and dock just celebrate community,” said Miller.