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Bill Dawers

City Talk appears every Tuesday and Sunday - Email me. Send mail to 10 East 32nd St., Savannah, Ga. 31401.

City Talk: Taking development lessons from Athens

If you drive into Athens on Highway 78, you’ll be greeted by The Mark, a massive new apartment development in the final phases of construction at the intersection of East Broad and Oconee streets.

City Talk: Take closer look at Savannah’s historic pavement

“We’re so used to streets dominated by asphalt and concrete that we’ve become blind to the earlier historic pavements that survive in cities across the country,” Robin Williams said near the beginning of his recent TEDxSavannah talk, “and we’ve utterly forgotten the critical role they played in helping modernize and make our cities livable.”

City Talk: Changing our city requires much more than cops

Like so many others in the community, I was proud to have Scott Waldrup as a friend.

City Talk: Nonprofit events shine spotlight on neighborhood vitality

Several hundred engaged citizens showed up at East Broad Street Elementary School on a recent Saturday afternoon for spoken word performances by 41 young authors from Deep Center’s Block by Block program.

City Talk: Gentrification slow but steady in some neighborhoods

In a recent column about the proposed Central Precinct in the Montgomery Street/Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard corridor, I said that the area would be gentrified in a generation.

CITY TALK: New precinct design goes from terrible to merely bad

Several weeks ago, Mayor Eddie DeLoach said that the design for the proposed new Central Precinct building looked like a prison. So city staffers went back to the drawing board to modify the design, which was approved by the mayor and aldermen last week.

The Central Precinct on Bull Street. (Steve Bisson/Savannah Morning News file photo)

City Talk: Congress for New Urbanism to bring convention, ideas

We get a lot of conventions here, but one scheduled for 2018 could be especially relevant to Savannah’s past, present and future.

City Talk: Challenges, opportunities for the local restaurant scene

So far in 2017, 18 restaurants in downtown Charleston have closed.

City Talk: Savannah officials setting poverty reduction goals

Last Sunday, this column looked closely at poverty statistics for the city of Savannah.

City Talk: New office building changes south of Forsyth

For many years, a small daycare center occupied the prominent lot at the southwest corner of Bull Street and Park Avenue.

City Talk: Deeper look at Savannah poverty shows trends

At a recent retreat, Savannah city officials turned their attention to the issue of poverty.

CITY TALK: Buckle up — summer’s here

Summer doesn’t officially begin for a few weeks, but Savannah’s summer break has begun. A decade or so ago, the ending of the Savannah College of Art and Design’s spring quarter was like the flipping of a light switch for the downtown area. Everything would be busy one week, and then the city would be much quieter the next.

CITY TALK: Revisiting ideas for Meldrim Row

At a Savannah City Council workshop session last month, Mayor Eddie DeLoach objected to the design for the new Central Precinct, which is planned for the east side of Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard near 33rd and 34th streets. The large site has been sitting empty for over two years.

CITY TALK: Local jobs estimates suggest continued growth

The latest estimates from the Georgia Department of Labor suggest that Savannah’s employment boom is continuing. According to the data, the Savannah metropolitan statistical area (Chatham, Effingham and Bryan counties) had 179,700 payroll jobs in April. That’s 3,900 more jobs than in April 2016, a 2.2 percent increase.

CITY TALK: ‘Fee’ would burden downtown residents, workers, businesses

Savannah City Council is poised to consider a new “fee” that would add 25 cents to most sales tax eligible purchases over $10 in the busiest portions of downtown. The revenue would fund Savannah Serves, an ambassadorial program that was created, according to the official website. We could debate the merits of the program, but it certainly has laudable goals of assisting visitors, beautifying downtown and providing more resources for public safety.

Bill Dawers

CITY TALK: District 2 stakeholders share visions for city

Last Wednesday evening, about 100 Savannah residents participated in the District 2 meeting at the Savannah Civic Center to gather input for Savannah Forward, a strategic planning process that is one of the most important initiatives launched since the hiring of City Manager Rob Hernandez.

CITY TALK: Winners, losers in parking overhaul

At the most recent Savannah City Council meeting, the mayor and aldermen approved many parts of a downtown parking overhaul, but they limited the changes to areas north of Liberty Street. The results are a mixed bag.

Bill Dawers

CITY TALK: Developments east, south of downtown worth attention

Regular readers of this newspaper are probably familiar with the major hotel developments in the works at the west end of River Street. If you haven’t walked down there in a while, you should take a look at the current state of the project.

CITY TALK: Broughton shopping gets USA Today notice

For many years, Savannah has received more national press than a city of our size could reasonably expect. Just consider USA Today’s “10 great American shopping streets,” which was published on May 5.

CITY TALK: Savannah Forward could align priorities of city government, residents

I hope readers of this column have already filled out the online survey for the city of Savannah’s new Tourism Management Plan. If you haven’t gotten to it yet, you have until May 14 to complete the survey. City officials have also undertaken Savannah Forward, an ambitious process to determine citizens’ priorities.