Atlanta developer-extraordinaire Ben Carter announced yesterday that he plans a $75 million investment to upgrade the shopping & dining district of Broughton St in Savannah.
For years, the city and many businesses have struggled to bring the main shopping street of Savannah back after the department stores left downtown for the suburban malls. Now, this may be just what is needed– an injection of major cash and a developer with the experience and contacts with the best retailers in the US and abroad.
Carter has purchased two key properties and has 22 other properties between Whitaker and Drayton Streets under contract. He plans to properly restore them and lease to stores restaurants and residences. Carter says around 30 companies, mostly national retail brands, have expressed interest in the project. He says he will release more details next week, according to GPB.
According to Savannah Morning News, Carter would like a to create a mixture national and local businesses, upscale and mid-market. “America shops all kinds of price points,” he said.
Preliminary sketches showed wrought-iron planters, additional trees, benches and reconfigured crosswalks. Carter is asking the city to help pay for upgrades to the streetscape.
Personally, I’d like to see a small median overflowing with flowering plants, more ornamental tall street lights like the original ones at Bull & Broughton. Perhaps some cable supported lighting across the street from building to building to add ambiance. The following pictures reflect my ideas, not Carter or the City:
I wonder if the city has ever studied making Broughton a one-way street like the other east-west streets. Then extend Broughton Street to the west all the way to Boundary Street, so all traffic doesn’t have to turn onto MLK.