City of Savannah Public Communications

Posted on: June 8, 2017

City moves forward with arena plans

For Immediate Release
Date: June 8, 2017

City Council is poised today to take another major step toward the development of a new arena and build-out of the surrounding Canal District as it considers awarding a design contract for the construction of a new public works facility on City-owned property on Savannah’s westside. The City Manager is recommending approval of a $1.7 million design services contract with engineering firm Hussey, Gay, Bell & DeYoung International Inc.

The existing City Lot is located at Gwinnett Street and Stiles Avenue, and houses various City functions, such as Water and Sewer headquarters, Traffic Engineering, Warehousing, Stormwater offices, a fueling facility, and various other offices and storage space. The mostly cement-block facilities are undersized and substandard, and in need of replacement.

The City plans to demolish most of those buildings to make way for the arena, and restore the historic brick-and-terra-cotta Water Works building, which will be incorporated into the larger Canal District plan.

The existing City Lot functions will be relocated to a new municipal facility proposed to be built on City-owned property at Interchange Court, located off West Gwinnett Street. The new facility will allow for the consolidation of multiple City offices under one roof, promoting coordination among City staff and enhanced customer service.

“We’re very pleased to be moving forward with the arena project,” said Peter Shonka, Assistant City Manager. “Relocating City Lot is the first major step toward clearing the arena site and opening it up for construction.”

To handle increased traffic and connect the arena with downtown, the City has already awarded a contract for final design plans for a widened and rebuilt West Gwinnett Street, which will include new lighting and pedestrian facilities. Last month City Council received a master plan for the planned Canal District, which will improve drainage throughout the westside and connect the arena to surrounding neighborhoods and downtown via a 55-acre park with water features, walking and biking paths, and athletic fields.

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