As they move forward with the planning process, city officials will seek a designer for a new Savannah arena.
Plans in the Georgia city call for the construction of a new arena, which will serve as one of the main anchors of a broader Canal District development project. The current goal is to open the approximately 9,000-seat arena in 2021 and Savannah officials, continuing to work on that timeline, are now seeking a design firm to work on the facility.
One adjustment made by the city was to shift the arena’s site, placing it north of where it was originally planned in order to keep the venue’s development on schedule. More from the Savannah Morning News:
To stay on schedule, the arena has been shifted farther north to where a parking lot had previously been proposed so the city does not have to wait for the public works department to be relocated from the original site, said Peter Shonka, director of the new arena development office.
“We’re able to start the project right away instead of waiting two years,” Shonka said.
Mixed-use buildings, a parking garage and hotel are now being considered for the area between the arena and the historic water works building on the site’s south end.
The city is expected to award the contract in June. While the arena would give the city a more modern event space in comparison to its aging Civic Center, officials have also noted that the broader development project could better connect the area to downtown Savannah. The current cost estimate of the new Savannah arena is $140 million, with revenue from a voter-approved special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST) expected to help cover the cost.