PROPERTY MATTERS: Savannah Bananas, The Jinx, and Savannah Bee Company get busy moving to new home bases

Updated January 31, 2023 at 8:43 p.m.

While some people binge Netflix, I binge building permits and meeting agendas. This column is based on what I find.

Stay engaged Savannah, Eric Curl

Savannah Bananas making move towards new home base

Plans are also moving forward for the Savannah Bananas’ new headquarters at 2934 Bee Road, with the submission this month of a building permit application and renovation plans.

Previously a furniture store and then a merchant antique market, the building next to Grayson Stadium was purchased by the team for almost $1.3 million in October. In a Linkedin post at the time, owner Jesse Cole described the purchase as a historic day for the franchise, coming seven years after arriving at Grayson Stadium as the new tenants, where their office was an abandoned storage building at the ballpark with no furniture, missing tiles, cut phone and internet lines and a leaky roof.

"This will certainly be a process and take time. But we always like to look at things and see them not for what they currently are, but for what they can be," Cole said. "We did the same with Grayson Stadium, a ballpark that was deemed unfit for minor league baseball."

Historic Cuyler-Brownville homes to be renovated for affordable housing

The New York-based Galvan Foundation is not alone in seeking to invest in Cuyler-Brownville, one of Savannah’s oldest African-American neighborhoods. Less than one week after the Savannah City Council approved Galvan’s plans to develop 19 vacant city properties for housing, the Historic Preservation Commission approved multiple petitions from different developers to rehabilitate residential properties in the historic neighborhood.

At least three of the properties are expected to be rehabbed to provide affordable housing.

The petitions last week included proposals from Ward Architecture + Preservation to rehabilitate three historic homes at 606 West 42nd St., 620 West 42nd St. and 634 West 42nd St.

The properties were all purchased in 2022 from the Historic Savannah Foundation, which is requiring that the current owner, Honza Properties LLC, meet affordable housing requirements, according to Ryan Jarles, HSF’s Director of Preservation and Historic Properties.

The covenant requires that affordable units not have a rent that exceeds the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development’s published fair market rents for Chatham County and that the affordable units must not have a household income that exceeds 120% of Area Median Income.   

click to enlarge PROPERTY MATTERS: Savannah Bananas, The Jinx, and Savannah Bee Company get busy moving to new home bases
The "912" apartment buildings are taking shape along Habersham Street. Eric Curl/Jan. 29, 2023

Going vertical on Habersham and 37th

Progress is now being made on the new apartment complex at the corner of 37th and Habersham streets after a bit of delay following the project's approval more than three years ago. Dubbed “The 912”, the project, as approved by the Metropolitan Planning Commission in June 2019, includes three, 3-story buildings that extend north from the intersection along Habersham.

The two southernmost buildings currently under construction will be identical and include six residential units each, while the pending third building, closest to 37th, will have a slightly smaller footprint with a commercial space on the ground floor and two residential units above, as described in the 2019 plans. The two larger buildings will feature structured parking, and additional surface parking will be provided with access from Plant Street.

Jinx owner seeking support for new location

The owner of the Jinx is seeking letters of support as plans move forward to open a new location for the popular Savannah bar and music venue following the downtown establishment’s closure in 2020.

Last week, a call via the venue’s social media pages was issued by Jinx owner Susanne Warnekros for help as preparations are made for the bar’s “long awaited resurrection.”

Warnekros said Thursday that the posts were getting lots of “likes” but she needed more actual letters, which she asked to be emailed to [email protected].

The call for support comes after plans were submitted to open the new location at 43rd and Whitaker streets where a vacant one-story building is currently located. The planned building renovations were approved by the Historic Preservation Commission in November, with the condition that the architect work with staff to make some recommended design changes.

Architect Kevin Rose said last week that he has made the changes that the HPC requested and the next step is to get approval for a special-use permit required for alcohol sales.

click to enlarge PROPERTY MATTERS: Savannah Bananas, The Jinx, and Savannah Bee Company get busy moving to new home bases
The Savannah Bee Company is planning to transform this building at 313 Stiles Avenue into a fulfillment center. Eric Curl/Jan. 30, 2023

Savannah Bee Company fulfillment center

The Savannah Bee Company is preparing to renovate an existing storage warehouse on Savannah’s westside for use as a fulfillment center, according to the issuance of a building permit last week. Savannah Bee Company purchased the building at 313 Stiles Avenue for almost $4.4 million in December 2021, according to public records.

In addition to three local shops, the Savannah-based purveyor of honey related products has 10 retail locations across the country, including in Arizona, Tennessee, South Carolina, Florida and Colorado, according to the website.

click to enlarge PROPERTY MATTERS: Savannah Bananas, The Jinx, and Savannah Bee Company get busy moving to new home bases
Renderings of 118 and 120 West 34th St. apartment buildings, as submitted by Gunn Meyerhoff Shay Architects.

East 34th Street apartments

A site development plan was submitted last week to move forward with the construction of two mixed-use buildings at 118 and 120 East 34th St, following the project's approval last fall. The 3-story buildings each include six apartment units, along with ground level retail, as approved by the Historic Preservation Commission in September.

Prior to construction, two non-historic buildings will be demolished to make way for the project, as approved by the HPC last April.

Published January 31, 2023 at 4:00 a.m.


Eric Curl

Connect Savannah Freelance Correspondent I Eric Curl is probably reading building permits, sales records and meeting agendas. He writes Property Matters to share what he finds. You can find the column, along with other stories, cartoons and quizzes about local matters at
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