Three proposals laid out for future of the fairgrounds property

Local News

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The three potential development groups for the Savannah Fairgrounds have laid out their visions for the future of the property. On Tuesday, the community got their first chance to view these proposals first-hand.

The Savannah Bridge Development team, Knott Development, and the P3 Joint Venture Group each displayed a number of diagrams sharing how they each view the future of the fairgrounds property.

The Savannah Bridge Development team’s proposal is centered around a live, work, eat, play, learn community approach. Their plan includes a food hall, grocery and retail, apartments, townhomes, an outdoor field, movie studio and three sound stages.

“It’s a bridge for the communities to grow and build that community spirit to become a stronger community, the Savannah bridge is that bridge to do that not only from new jobs but also just the design and the open space and the public amenities are community centric,” said David Murphy, architect for the Savannah Bridge Development team. “The three sound stages you know, there’s a number of operators looking to relocate to Savannah. It’s a very attractive location, also even the opportunity for a potential community center could mean opportunities and facilities for the entire community. Our goal is to make this a community center for everyone to use.”

The P3 Joint Venture Group’s proposal is all about innovation in technology, workforce development, recreation, and senior housing. Building opportunities in the community for high wage jobs and entrepreneurship.

“The future is that if were not empowering our citizens with technology, with innovation in housing, with innovation in what recreation looks like for healthy living and how we treat our bodies right, then we haven’t met the mark. So, one of our strategic initiatives for the city is to focus on how we can eradicate poverty,” said Robert Gould, lead developer of the P3 Joint Venture group.

“We haver 4 components of our plan, our first component of our plan is workforce development and training which is so important because we want to build opportunities where we can create high wage-earning jobs for citizens in the community. We’re also going to train in idioms like sound design, gaming and coding, and animation. Giving hard skills also to build entrepreneurship, which connects with our second prong of our project which is a film and television studio. Building entrepreneurship to allow locals to participate on films when they come into our facility,” Gould explained.

Knott Development team’s proposal focuses on athletic facilities for regional and national competitions. It includes six turf fields, two indoor sports complexes, a four acre park, restaurants, retail, and an aquatic learning center. While keeping half of the site in public ownership.

“I think that this plan is the best fit for the city of Savannah because it brings much needed recreation and open space to this community. It also starts to address some of the health disparities that we know are chronic in many of our neighborhoods and it also respects the neighborhood,” said Denise Grabowski of Knott Development team.

“It’s small scale and it’s appropriate for the neighborhood. We have these great neighborhood amenities and resources that are right there, and almost half the site is going to remain in public ownership. So, we’re not looking to come in and take over the neighborhood,” Grabowski explained.

Each person who attended the community meeting was given a slip to provide feedback and thoughts on the three proposals. Another community meeting will be held on Wednesday, July 14th from 5:30-7pm at the Savannah Civic Center.

The proposals will then be presented to City Council on Thursday, July 15th in hopes of determining which of the three proposals the city would most like to move forward with.

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