PROPERTY MATTERS: Aldi at Johnny Harris site, Hutchinson Island homes, Apartments on Bay

Permitting underway for Aldi supermarket at Johnny Harris site on Victory

ABOVE: The first Aldi in Savannah opened in 2019. Eric Curl/March 28, 2023

Perhaps, the smell of barbecued pork, barbecued lamb, and fried chicken will linger in the air, or at least in the memories of some Savannahians, as they wheel their shopping carts up the aisles, remembering dances in the ballroom.

A building permit application was recently submitted, along with construction plans, to construct an Aldi grocery store at 1651 E. Victory Drive, where the Johnny Harris Restaurant was located prior to the beloved Savannah landmark’s closing and demolition in 2016. The grocery store is part of a development along Wicklow Street that includes the planned construction of a 280-unit apartment complex.

Divisional Vice President Shaun O’Keefe said via email on Monday that the company was excited to confirm what will be the second location for the German-based supermarket chain, which they expect to open early next year. The site meets the criteria of the company, a convenient location for customers that can support high-traffic volume daily, O’Keefe said.

“We are happy to continue serving shoppers with this additional, future location,” he said.

Aldi opened its first store in Savannah in 2019 at 14070 Abercorn St., across from the Savannah Mall.

Atlanta developer planning residential development on Hutchinson Island

Patrick Malloy Communities recently submitted an amended master plan for a portion of the Reserve at Savannah Harbor, where the Atlanta-based developer is planning to construct 24 single-family homes. Under the amended plan, 42 lots would be combined to create 24 larger lots for the homes that are expected to start at about $650,000, according to John Gaskin, vice president of land acquisition. The ranch-style, 2-car garage detached houses are designed with people age 55 and older in mind, similar to some models the company has developed in Atlanta, Gaskin said.

"We'd been looking around Savannah to expand that product and we thought Hutchinson was a good location,” he said.

Patrick Malloy Communities is currently constructing the Upper East River residential development at the Eastern Wharf along the Savannah River east of downtown. The company anticipates closing on the Hutchinson properties in September and beginning construction late this year or early next year, Gaskin said.

The long-stalled Reserve at Savannah Harbor development’s master plan was originally approved by the MPC in May 18,2004, amended on Dec. 4, 2007, and amended again on Nov. 10, 2009. Mopper Turner Investments is the current owner of all the lots.

Apartments at East Bay and Price

Rendering of the proposed building by Emily Dawson, with LS3P. Rendering courtesy of LS3P.

Site work is expected to begin in April on a 2-story apartment building at 501 East Bay St., a vacant parcel next to the Kimpton Brice Hotel’s parking garage. 

Co-owner Neil Dawson, with Ls3P, said that work will begin in two to three weeks on the building, which will consist of three 2-bed, 2-bath condos with commercial space facing the corner on Bay and Price streets. While the site was approved for four stories and 100-lot-coverage, including an office or hotel, they decided to develop a less dense concept, Dawson said.

"We want to be respectful neighbors and want to encourage less density on this residential end of Bay Street," he said.

About The Author

Eric Curl

When not wandering the streets with his canine companion, Eric Curl is probably reading building permits and meeting agendas. He writes Property Matters on 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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