Neighbors Still Waiting On Waters Ave. Revitalization

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A long awaited promise of a new look for a rundown area of Savannah is still unfulfilled. Neighbors along Waters Avenue between Victory Drive and Wheaton Street continue to wait for improvements in the area.

In 2010, the City of Savannah officially kicked off a campaign to revitalize the corridor. The revitalization project is a multi-million dollar Streetscape Plan that includes improving sidewalks, landscaping, lighting and more.

In 2012, city officials added Waters Avenue revitalization signs to the landscape as a commitment. Three years later, the signs are still there along with overgrown grass, graffiti, cracked sidewalks and buildings that are crumbling including one that has an exposed toilet and sink.

“It looks nasty, trashy we don’t want to live in an area that looks trashy all the time,” said neighbor Jessica Williams.

Neighbors in the area feel like those signs are a slap in the face when there are still so many improvements needed.

“It’s frustrating and it makes you feel as if they don’t care, they don’t care ,if they cared they would respond to an email, return a phone call, come down here and look and see what’s happening,” said neighbor Amy Drew.

Amy Drew has lived and owned a business along Waters Avenue for five years. Drew said a makeover will help attract more people to the area.

“Parents before they’ve said oh Waters Avenue we’re not going down there and I beg and plead with them that please you just have to come and see, it’s getting better bit by bit,” said Drew.

The city has made some improvements like concealing some of the graffiti and fixing up parking and landscape at a city owned commercial property.

Drew said she’s hopeful the city will fulfill its promises but she’s not going to hold her breath.

“I’ve never had a problem with anybody being mean or anything stolen or broken into it has been a wonderful neighborhood to live in. I just want the city to help us make it what it so on the edge of being,” said Drew.

Part of the revitalization is to fix a city owned shopping center on Waters Ave. District 2 Alderwoman Mary Osborne said the city is negotiating a contract right now to get a grocery store and pharmacy in there but a closing date is unknown at this time. The city says bids have also come back for the first phase of the Streetscape which will include fixing the sidewalks, landscaping, decorative street lights and more.

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