City of Savannah Planning to Sell Downtown Buildings
Tuesday, September 5th, 2017
The City of Savannah is preparing to sell two building in Savannah’s Landmark Historic District and developing a plan to relocate many City departments to improve efficiency and make better use of tax dollars.
Members of the Savannah City Council voted to declare the Gamble Municipal Building and the Broughton Municipal Building as surplus and available for sale.
“This is a great opportunity for the City of Savannah to sell these properties and take advantage of the favorable housing market,” said City Manager Rob Hernandez. “Both facilities are in need of significant renovations. This makes economic sense and it allows us to better consolidate our staff and improve efficiency and effectiveness, while freeing up valuable parking spaces in the downtown area.”
The BMB and Gamble Building currently house several City departments including the City Attorney’s Office, Economic Development, Human Resources, Information Technology, Research and Budget, Property Maintenance, Revenue and others. The City will be relocating those employees to other city-owned facilities and will begin leasing office space at the Savannah Morning News building on Chatham Parkway.
No decisions have been finalized yet as to where each department will be located.
“We will give our citizens, our businesses and our employees plenty of notice to minimize any inconvenience,” Hernandez added.
City staff will begin moving in sometime in December and the offices will be fully operational in early 2018. The 36,538 square feet of office space on Chatham Parkway will be located on the second floor, separate from other building tenants.
The four-year lease will be $782,644 per year. The City expects to save an estimated $600,000 annually through reduced operation, maintenance and repair costs once BMB and Gamble are sold.
The Gamble Building is located at 6 E. Bay along River Street at the Bull Street Ramp next to City Hall. The six-story, 7,070-square-foot building has access to Bay Street via pedestrian bridges, as well as frontage and access to the Savannah River and adjoining Riverwalk. The assessed market value is $6.925 million. The City purchased the Gamble Building in 1943 as an annex to City Hall. Over time it has housed a variety of City departments and staff.
The BMB is located at 132 E. Broughton Street at the corner of Broughton and Abercorn streets. The six-story, 37,600-square-foot property is positioned within the central business district along two highly traveled downtown roadways. The assessed market value is $7.156 million. The City purchased the building in 1991 to increase office space for City staff and to help revitalize Broughton Street.
The City is currently exploring the feasibility of building a new Municipal Complex to improve efficiencies and customer service. Providing improved workplaces for employees that are accessible to residents, businesses and guests is one of the goals of City Council’s Strategic Plan, also adopted on this afternoon.