Savannah City Council passes motion to get public input on proposals for Coastal Empire Fairgrounds site

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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – After years of debate Savannah city leaders are still working to decide what to build on the Coastal Empire Fairgrounds.

The city council passed a motion unanimously Thursday to consider three proposals that have been submitted to the city to develop the land.

The gates at the Coastal Empire Fairgrounds off of Meding Street have been locked for some time now but city leaders are working to start the process of developing the 67 acres.

The city of Savannah’s purchasing office issued out a request for proposal (RFP) and received three. The requirement for this project is that developers would need to provide economic strength, poverty reduction, neighborhood revitalization, and more.

Neighbors in the community News 3 spoke to say they just want to see something that will uplift this community.

Two of the proposals offer mixed-use ideas bringing new housing and commercial space to the community, even including movie studios. This is a project that’s been talked about for years and led by Mayor Pro Tem Dr. Estella Shabazz.

The last option wants to develop a sports complex that would bring in new tournaments to the Hostess City. One proposal estimates they could make an economic impact of at least $325 million. That same company projects that construction could cost $330 million.

The proposals were evaluated and ranked by a committee and all of them came back within points of each other. City Manager Pat Monahan recommends that all proposals be presented to the public.

After public input, the council would then decide who to offer a development contract to and move forward from there.

The first presentation would be a Zoom meeting that would allow each of the proposers to submit their plans to public viewing. The second would be a live presentation at Johnny Mercer Theater.

News 3 will keep you updated when we learn the dates of those presentations.

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