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Economic Development

Mar. 28 – City Council to consider declaring 15-acre portion of Coastal Empire Fairgrounds property excess, and for sale

Category: Economic Development

By Lou Phelps, Savannah Business Journal

March 28, 2017 – The Savannah City Council’s agenda for Thursday afternoon’s regularly scheduled Council meeting includes a vote on declaring 15-acre portion of the 65 acres of the Coastal Fairgrounds property that the City owns, excess, and for sale.

A local investors group, headed by State Rep. J. Craig Gordon, is working on a proposal to purchase the same 15 acres to develop a movie studio lot on the property.

According to Bret Bell, Deputy Assistant to the City Manager, this will allow the City to find out “what other proposals might be out there, and an idea on value.” 

Located at 4801 Meding Street (PIN 2-0108-01-001), the parent tract is one of the last large

mostly-vacant sites remaining in the urban core of the City of Savannah.

It was used as a fairgrounds for decades and one of the buildings present is a large Quonset facility with tall ceiling height and expansive clear space without the obstruction of interior support columns.

“This building was reportedly used as an aircraft hangar in the past, and, more recently, for

storage and film production,” according to the Staff report with the Agenda.

There are also administrative and storage/utility buildings present, as well as paved parking areas on the 15 acre parcel.

“The sale parcel would include all of the existing buildings; thus placing a portion of the property on the tax roll and reducing future demolition and redevelopment costs to the City. The remaining +/- 51 acres would be retained by the City for future parks and recreation development and other potential uses,” according to the Staff report.

The City will reserve easements and rights of way for access and utilities, and also establish covenants/restrictions and/or development agreements to ensure the overall parcel is developed in a coordinated and mutually beneficial manner, the Staff comments outline.

Sale of a portion of the property would generate revenue that could potentially recover all or most of the investment in the overall parcel and/or fund other potential initiatives, it is anticipated, according to the Staff report.

If approved, a Request for Proposals to invite sealed bids and proposals will be solicited. 

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