City Seeking Contract to Expand and Repair East River Street, Expecting Large Development to Begin

DOWNTOWN SAVANNAH (GA)- Savannah leaders are looking to spend nearly half a million dollars repairing and expanding River Street.

This after they say developers are finally ready to break ground on the savannah river landing. The landing project along president street was dumped five years ago when the recession hit.

In that time, the site developer raised the land to prepare for future development.

The city’s river walk expansion in addition to the president street raising, and west river street hotel are setting the city on pace to a massive extension of River Street.

“We’re talking about close to a billion dollars of development that’s about to occur out there, that’s going to forever change really the face of the eastern side of downtown,” says Savannah public information officer Bret Bell.

That development being the River Street Landing. Now the city is moving to take bids on extending the famed riverwalk to what was once deemed a project abandoned.

“That housing boom that kind of deflated and so that all of the financing that everybody had and that certainly slowed down everything, now we’re back we’re seeing home sales on a national level, particularly in Georgia, particularly on the coast increase dramatically,” says Chamber of Commerce President Bill Hubbard.

From what Bell is hearing, as soon as the President street project is complete, construction of the landing and other residential ventures could follow.

“Those intersections and raising the elevation of the public roadway out there to meet the private properties is absolutely critical for development to occur out there,” Bell says.

In order to push these developments, Bell says the city is attempting to expand the river walk so that the public can connect to them.

“That’s a very exciting thing I think for our residents, we’re activating properties that haven’t been activated in decades.”

All of the expansions have funding already set aside for according to Bell. With this potential for big reward though there’s some big risk for the community.

“We’ve got to be smart, we got to do this thing right, but also you get really one chance very few communities get the opportunity we have right now,” says Hubbard.

The city council is expected to grant the bid to a contractor at this Thursday’s city council meeting.

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