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Officials Detail Vision Behind Savannah Arena Plan

Arena Digest

Executing additional projects will be a key part of the broader vision for a new Savannah arena, according to city officials. 

Savannah is working through the planning process of a proposed $140 million arena that would be constructed as part of what is being billed as the Canal District. Along with the arena, the Canal District would include a 55-acre public park, while leading to road improvements in the surrounding area.

The full results of the development could take years to come into place, but officials–Savannah mayor Eddie DeLoach–believe that the project can ultimately help better connect the area surrounding the proposed arena to the city’s downtown. More from The Savannah Morning News:

The Canal District plan is key to luring in private development and helping ensure the arena’s success, DeLoach said.

“We are going to stretch our downtown so there is more to do, more things to have in the downtown area,” he said.

The plan is to eventually make similar improvements farther south along the canal to Bowles Ford Park and then to the Tatemville community, which is estimated to cost an additional $34.5 million.

The three phases of the Canal District will probably take at least 15 to 20 years to complete, but the arena itself could be completed by 2021, according to city officials. Before construction can begin, the city has to relocate employees and vehicles currently based at the arena site. Last month, the city council approved a $1.7 million contract with Hussey, Gay, Bell and DeYoung International to design the new base of operations about a mile west.

Revenue from a special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST) is expected to help cover the arena’s development.

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