If you are like most people, when you think about Savannah, Georgia, you think about a picturesque city in the South full of quaint “southern charm.” That is all true, but it’s only the beginning. If you are a real estate investor thinking about Savannah, Georgia, then you ought to have a great deal more on your mind than Spanish moss and historic architecture.
Thanks to the Herculean efforts of the Savannah Development and Renewal Authority (SDRA), Savannah, Georgia, has a new master plan, dubbed simply “Downtown Savannah 2033 master plan.” Kevin Klinkenberg, who was closely involved in crafting the plan, described the plan as a potential “blueprint to your own billion-dollar path to prosperity” for investors living outside the Savannah metro area. Needless to say, that kind of statement from someone involved in the development of the plan and a renowned expert in urban planning and design means the Downtown Savannah 2033 master plan deserves a closer look.
PIP Group analysts dove into the plan with the goal of identifying potential opportunities for our investors. After all, we have been investing in the Savannah area for several years now, but a well-crafted community master plan often holds the key to identifying great opportunities that are still invisible “on the outside.” What we found was very exciting, and I want to share our “Top 3” discoveries with you in this article.
Savannah’s downtown growth has historically been haphazard
This in itself was not particularly surprising (visit River Street and it’s all too clear), but the plan’s intention to change this via well-advised, “300-year decisions” was. The new master plan may be used as a guidebook for future development, and that means great insights for real estate investors with access to the plan and the wherewithal to act when opportunities become apparent.
Savannah’s downtown landscaping is expanding into new construction
Certain elements of Savannah’s Historic District, including green spaces reminiscent of the squares and statuary in that area, are being encouraged in new construction and development. This could shape buyer preferences in years to come.
Savannah plans to “prioritize quality-of-life over commuting time.”
This means, from the practical standpoint, that development on the outer edges of the city may be limited by what the master plan defines as the needs of the residents living in the greater downtown area. Although the plan does allow for alternative methods of transport into the downtown area, it does not permit the prioritization of fast commuting because, Klinkenberg writes, it “harms public safety and degrades the economic value of [the greater downtown] neighborhoods.”