PROPERY MATTERS: Private clubs, parking garages, corner stores and converted hotels


Private club with members’ lodging, restaurant proposed for 32nd & Habersham

Former state representative Craig Gordon plans to construct a 3-story mixed-use building next to Tacos + Tequila on the southwest corner of Habersham and 32nd, where the restaurant currently leases space for parking.

The proposed building would include a private club with a restaurant for special events, meeting space and 11 single-occupancy rooms for club members or their visitors to stay overnight.

Gordon said last week that he envisions the club as a resource for small business entrepreneurs to congregate and collaborate, something akin to the the international club Soho House and Atlanta’s Gathering Spot. The property has been in Gordon’s family for generations and at one time included the adjacent land and building that now houses Tacos + Tequila, which his grandfather had originally built as a liquor store. 

The parking lot at 32nd Street and Habersham, with Taco + Tequila in the background.

 Gordon said there was plenty of interest in the property over the years, from Starbucks to condo and housing developers, but the family wanted to make sure the property stayed within their control, while contributing to the city.

“We came up with, hey look, this was one the first business that kind of made the way for our family, let’s come up with something that kind of lays some bricks for future businesses that need somewhere to gather, and prosper and form a collective themselves,” he said.

Gordon’s architect, SHEDDarchitecture, is seeking consideration of the building’s height and mass at the Historic Preservation Commission meeting on July 27.

Photo Above: A rendering of the proposed building, as submitted by the architect.

Parking garage proposed for parking lot next to Savannah City Market, Club One

A  parking garage could replace a parking lot with retail on the ground level under a plan recently submitted for review.

The 5-story garage is proposed to be built on the lot between the Hilton Garden Inn (next to Club One) and City Market (Vinnie Van GoGo’s side) with Jefferson and Montgomery on the east and west sides. 

While zoning limits construction to 4 stories in the location, there is an option for the additional floor by incorporating “active” ground floor uses. In this case retail and restaurant tenants are expected to operate there.

Consideration of the project’s height and mass (known as Part I review) has been postponed after initially being submitted for the July 13 Historic District Board of Review meeting. The petition was continued to give applicant the opportunity to work on several  concerns expressed by staff and give them time to reach out to nearby property owners such as the First African Baptist Church.

Savannah hotel conversion comes amid city’s increasing housing demand

With a new name and new floral-themed mural, a former Homewood Suites on White Bluff Road is on its way to serving Savannah’s residents rather than visitors.

A site plan was recently submitted to convert the 102-room hotel into an 102-unit apartment building, following the Savannah City Council’s vote to rezone the site for residential use in January. The planned modifications are minor and include ADA improvements and safety upgrades, and the apartments are being advertised as available starting in September.

Unfortunately, the unit rates are not quite as low as the developer indicated they would be during the city council meeting. Now dubbed The Spoke, 1-bedroom units at the apartment complex start at $1,134, as of July 7, while 2-bedroom units start at $1,774. At the city council meeting, the developer’s representative told the mayor and alderman rents for a one bedroom were expected to be in the $900-$1,000 range, while 2 bedrooms would be up to $1,300.

The developer indicated they may do a similar conversion with the extended stay Residences Inn next door, however, such conversions are not practical for most hotels. Such extended stay lodging facilities are more easily converted into apartments since they already include amenities such as a kitchen.

Rehab proposed for two historic Savannah corner stores

222 West Duffy St.

The Historic Preservation Commission considered two separate proposals last month to restore historic corner store buildings that once operated as neighborhood businesses. 

The proposals on the June 22 agenda included  the restoration of the historic commercial building at 222 West Duffy. Constructed in 1894, the building has served many roles over its more than 120 years, including retail space and most recently a neighborhood breakfast restaurant, according to the application. Staff recommended approval of the restoration, which is being proposed by Michael Condon, owner of Vintage Home Restoration.

The plan was approved by the commission with condition that include some design changes to the doors and windows.

In addition, Greenline Architecture requested approval for the rehabilitation of the building at Montgomery and 41st Street, as well as the removal of a second story addition and construction of a one- and two-story additions.  The structure on the corner of the block is a 2-story wood frame building historically used as a commercial shop on the ground floor and living quarters on the second floor, according to the application.

Records of the 1-story brick structure along Montgomery Street indicate it was historically used as an ice cream manufacturing building and later a bakery. The current owners plan to rehabilitate the buildings for commercial use on the ground floor and create two 2-bedroom apartments on the second level with an addition over the brick structure.

The commission approved staff’s recommendation to delay consideration of the proposal for 90 days to give time to the applicant to make some design changes, including the redesign of the rooftop addition to be more visually compatible.


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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