Savannah Business Journal Staff Report
August 31, 2018 – The Savannah City Council approved the sale of two downtown buildings during Thursday’s council meeting as part of a larger plan to centralize City municipal operations.
The City sold the Thomas Gamble Building, located on East Bay Street next to City Hall, to Foram Development LLC for $8.5 million, the same company that is developing the Starland Village project on Bull Street.
And, the City sold a building located at 601 E. Liberty St. to Standard Companies for $5.9 million. Both companies have plans to convert the buildings into residential units with commercial space on the street level. Foram also plans to include shared and private rooftop gardens on the Gamble Building. Closing on the sale of these buildings is expected in the coming months.
According to city officials, the financial return and economic impact of the Gamble Building property sale is determined to have a net value of more than $9.1 million which includes sale proceeds and incremental tax revenues. The financial return from the Liberty Street building is determined to have a net value of more than $8.1 million.
City staff recommended the sale of the buildings as part of a larger plan to consolidate City operations and build a new public safety/municipal complex. “Both the Gamble and Liberty buildings are prime properties, but have grown outdated and are in need of major renovations,” said Real Property Services Director David Keating. “Renovating these buildings is not in the City’s best interest when we have the option to return them to the tax rolls and reinvest the sale proceeds into a more functional and efficient municipal facility.”
Earlier this year the City sold the Broughton Municipal Building and the Paulsen Street municipal building. Most of the City personnel that once occupied the Gamble, Broughton and Paulsen buildings have been moved to City Hall or relocated to office space at the Savannah Morning News building on Chatham Parkway. The sale of the surplus property aligns with the City’s strategic plan Savannah Forward, under the priority of Good Government.