May 25, 2017, City Council Regular Meeting
Motion to Approve Development Agreement Between the City of Savannah and Savannah River Landing JV, LLC Concerning Certain Public Infrastructure at the Savannah River Landing Site

The Savannah River Landing is a 55-acre mixed-use development that is planned to have multifamily residential, hotels, office, single-family residential, and retail space. The development will contain public parks and squares that will be constructed for recreational and cultural uses. This property is the largest single tract of undeveloped land adjacent to the downtown area, and is an important component of the Tax Allocation District, established to fund certain public infrastructure projects.

Several years ago, Council entered into a Development Agreement with the owner of the Savannah River Landing development, which provided for orderly development of the infrastructure on the site. After building much of the water/sewer and street infrastructure, the owner defaulted on the agreement and lost ownership of the property during the recession. The proposed agreement with the purchaser of the site, Savannah River Landing Land JV, LLC, will supersede the prior agreement upon the closing of the sale of the site, which is scheduled for later this summer, and will enable the full development of the project.

Under the new agreement, the Developer will build all of the roads, water and sewer infrastructure, and other improvements in the project except those described in this agreement. As in the prior agreement, the City will make public park and streetscape improvements which will be funded by the Eastside Tax Allocation District. In addition, the City will complete a SPLOST-funded extension of the riverfront plaza in front of the Riverfront Marriott hotel, which will connect the existing plaza with the unopened plaza built within the Savannah River Landing development. Finally, the City will purchase and operate two parking garages on the site, which will contain between 1,200 and 1,400 parking spaces, which will be funded by the City’s Parking and Mobility Fund, utilizing bonds to be issued by the Downtown Savannah Authority. The project development, at build-out, will utilize approximately 800 of the proposed spaces, which will be charged rates to be determined by the City. The agreement offers the City the option of adding a streetcar barn to the second garage if it decides later to extend the River Street Streetcar Line eastward into the project.

The City has planned for several years to construct an approximately 1,000-space commuter parking garage on the Tybee Depot site, across President Street from Savannah River Landing. Under this plan, the City would build the garage spaces on the north side of President Street, instead of the Depot site. City studies estimate that spaces located on the River Landing site will produce significantly larger cash flow per space than those on the Depot site, making the project substantially more feasible. This site offers the following advantages over the Depot location:

1. It will be utilized on a 24-7 basis not only by commuters who work or visit downtown, but by visitors to the restaurants, bars and other uses within the project.

2. The new garage spaces will be built in two phases. The first garage will contain approximately 600-700 spaces. This reduces the city’s risk of building a larger number of spaces on the Depot site.

3. It is easier to access for incoming commuter traffic coming to the Historic District from the eastside islands.

4. It leaves the Depot site undeveloped, allowing the City to use it, or sell it for other uses.

5. It provides substantial parking for public use which will be directly adjacent to the newly opened portion of the Rousakis Plaza Riverwalk, connecting directly to the River Street area.

Attached is a copy of the proposed agreement. The agreement has one exhibit, labeled Exhibit A., which includes a color-coded graphic description and a narrative description of the City's proposed improvements.  



Peter Shonka, Assistant City Manager
Financial Impact
Review Comments
Savannah River Landing Public Spaces Narrative.pdf
Savannah River Landing Project Map.pdf
Savannah River Landing Development Agreement.pdf
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