In Savannah, GA, local businessman Charles Morris purchased a 10-acre former industrial site in Savannah’s historic district near the city’s waterfront. Originally used in the 18th century as an experimental garden and later for industrial and commercial activity, Morris had a vision of turning the complex into a community destination with a variety of uses that would complement the nearby attractions in the historic downtown.
PPS was hired to develop a program and overall concept for the project, and met with dozens of stakeholders, including residents, civic groups, cultural organizations, historic district representatives, economic development professionals, representatives from the Savannah School of Art and Design, and local architects and planners. After conducting a Placemaking workshop, attended by over 75 stakeholders, PPS developed a preliminary concept for the site, as well as a program for uses and events that could begin to activate the area immediately.
As part of a short-term plan, PPS recommended a farmers market on-site, as well as providing space for creative businesses and local artists. A long-term plan includes an indoor-outdoor public market, a hotel and spa, restaurants and other uses tied to fitness and health, including the return of the garden space to be run by community volunteers.
Currently, two industrial buildings have been renovated, one to house Morris Multimedia and the other to be rented for performances and events, including Savannah Music Festival concerts. Additionally, a seasonal weekly farmers market is now part of the property. Under Mr. Morris’ direction, the complex will develop organically in partnership with the surrounding community.