July 2018

150 151 we are working on (and we are in verymuch a draft phase) is a form-based zoning overlay for the part of the Canal District that we will be developing. So at some point,we will be working with the major stakeholders on finalizing that document and using that to help us predict what development is going to look like in the area, eventually.” While a lot of the site hasn’t been developed in the past because of its floodplain issues,Shonka believes manyproblems can be solved byenlarging the canal. “Wewill also be providing a hundred-year conveyance andwe believe that will be a significant incentive that will make the propertyfinancially feasible to develop. And thenwe are going to need a lot of parking for the Arena,andwe thinkwe are going to be able to partner with the right kind of developer to provide for some of the parking needs.Retail,or even a hotel,are good partners with theArena parking as you can use that parking for both purposes.Office parking or commuter parking is fantastic for that because that is a daytime use and theArena ismostlynight time use.So,I think it will be possible.” The estimated cost for the Arena is 160 mil- lion dollars.About 120 million of that will come from the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST).Additional funding will come either from a bond issue or perhaps some other private fund- ing source.The city will be using the construction manager at-risk project deliverymethod and will have some early release site work packages getting underway later this year,with a projected opening of the facility in March of 2021. “So we think we have this tremendous bone structure to make a real destination point for the city and that will be a big economic driver for food service and entertainment and that kind of thing,” says Shonka.“And what even the people living here do not realize is that although we are locating it in an area that is underdeveloped now, it’s incredi- bly close to our downtown core.Our downtown is THE SAVANNAH ARENA (SAVANNAH, GA) separated from this site by Interstate 16 and Highway 17,which then cross over into South Carolina.You have this raised interstate and the trestle highway that kind of bisects the city between the Historic District and our Canal District which we are trying to develop. So peo- ple aren’t as familiar with what goes on, on this side of the highway, but it is very close to downtown and by creating new roads and a multipurpose,multi-modal trail connection, it is going to be an easy 10-15 minute walk from the core of downtown to this area. “I think the development here is going to create great opportunities for recreation with the development of this park; not just for people coming to the city to visit but also for the people that live around the park today in neighborhoods that are under-servedwith recreational fa- cilities.In turn,I think this is going to create a tremendous amount of economicopportunity-not just for developers but for small business in the park,in the Canal District,and in the entertainment areas that will follow along.” PREFERRED VENDORS n Thomas and Hutton www.thomasandhutton.com Founded in 1946, Thomas & Hutton offers innova- tive solutions to complex engineering issues.  De- signing projects that transform the landscape of our communities, our passionate and talented staff design infrastructure that creates the essential framework of healthy and thriving communities.  We continue to learn, improve, design, and implement processes that grow healthy communities. n Kern & Co., LLC www.kernengineering.com Kern & Co., LLC is a professional engineering & architectural firm providing the full range of design services for the development of commercial, industri- al, and residential properties.  These services include: Surveying, Land Planning, Civil Engineering, Architec- tural Design, Landscape Architectural Design, Struc- tural Engineering, Mechanical/ Electrical/ Plumbing Design, Permitting, and Construction Administration.