BiS: - Business news for the creative coast.

Julia Ritchey

Business Reporter - 912-652-0362 - Email me

New restaurant The Grey opens with gusto

When diners walk into The Grey, they’ll see one of the more attractive and aesthetically aware restaurants to open in Savannah in recent years. But its beauty is more than skin deep.

West River Street hotel development gets design approval

Hotelier Richard Kessler’s large-scale redevelopment on West River Street gained design approval Friday at a special session of the Historic Board of Review.

Local shops eager to carry Cuban cigars, rum

Local cigar shop owners are singing hallelujah to the easing of restrictions between the United States and Cuba more than 50 years after the embargo banned its most famous product, but they’re unsure of how long it will take to get the cigars into their stores.

Savannah startup gets seed funding to develop parking ticket payment app

As ubiquitous as trolleys or Spanish moss, parking tickets and the receiving thereof have become an inevitable part of any visit to downtown Savannah. A new local startup called Quickit is trying to rectify that with the help of a smartphone app.

InterContinental to buy boutique chain Kimpton Hotels

InterContinental Hotels Group announced on Tuesday it will pay $430 million to acquire Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, a boutique chain that recently opened The Brice in downtown Savannah.

Metropolitan Planning Commission relaunches SAGIS website

With 10,000 visitors a week, the public mapping SAGIS website is one of the city’s most heavily frequented, used by appraisers, Realtors, homeowners and a host of other people interested in geographic data for the county.

New businesses transform Liberty Street into local corridor

Savannah native Aurash Kheradmandi and his business partner spent 18 months getting their new upscale bar and restaurant concept, Granite, off the ground.

The austere and warmly lit space at the corner of Liberty and Drayton streets held its soft opening in November, the latest in a string of locally owned businesses to join the mixed-use corridor.

Home sales up in November

Savannah-area home sales rose about 5 percent in November compared to the previous year, according to the latest data from local real estate tracker Savannah Multi-List Corp.

Sandfly moves forward with historic status push

About a month after the Sandfly Community Betterment Association rekindled its long-stalled efforts to get historic status, the group has now collected enough signatures to move that process forward.

Developer clears last hurdle for hotel near West River Street

The Historic Board of Review’s final meeting of 2014 started much as it began — packed with new residential infill projects and hotel developments in various stages of design.

Developer reveals new subdivision

A developer unveiled site plans on Tuesday for a subdivision of 89 single-family homes on Jasmine Avenue about three months after neighbors voiced strong opposition to a previous proposal for multi-family apartments.

Historic Board of Review tackles strategic plan

It’s been a tough year for Savannah’s Historic District Board of Review.
The 12-member all-volunteer board has had to vet an influx of large-scale construction and new infills, including at least three new hotels, making it one of the most active years since the recession put a big dent in commercial development.

House committee talks film incentives in Savannah

Georgia’s film industry may be booming, but post-production work is still flagging, according to industry stakeholders discussing tax incentives with members of the Georgia House of Representatives on Thursday.

Small Business Assistance Corporation recognizes chocolatier, manufacturing firm

To the Small Business Assistance Corp., it matters not whether you’re a maker of chocolate or a manufacturer of heavy machinery — what matters is your potential for growth.

Savannah businesses roll out Cyber Monday deals

More Savannah-grown businesses are beefing up their e-commerce divisions to appeal to a wider audience this holiday season, and some are seeing big gains in web traffic.

Local businesses with a strong online presence, including retailers Byrd Cookie Co., Savannah Bee Co., River Street Sweets and Savannah’s Candy Kitchen, advertised an array of special offers on their websites Monday geared toward online gift hunters.

Savannahians get early start, big deals at start of holiday shopping season

A line of about 100 people snaked around the Toys R Us on Abercorn Street on Thursday evening as a clerk named Estevan sang an off-key version of the store's "I don't wanna grow up, I'm a Toys R Us kid" theme song with a few willing customers.

Developer Ben Carter launches holiday streetscape

Armed with a six-figure budget and fake snow flown in from Canada, developer Ben Carter has hired a team of Christmas professionals to turn his empty storefronts into a winter wonderland for the holiday season.

Retailers carving earlier open times on Black Thursday

National retailers are carving more than just turkey today - they're carving a few more hours off their opening times in hopes of maximizing the lucrative holiday shopping season as Black Thursday firmly supplants Black Friday.

Savannah's small businesses prep for post-Thanksgiving rush

Savannah’s small businesses are preparing for the post-turkey shopping rush, extending hours, holding sales and encouraging customers to buy local.

The first Saturday after Thanksgiving, dubbed Small Business Saturday, began four years ago as a campaign by financial giant American Express to encourage people to support independent brick-and-mortar establishments.

Hotel developer buying Firestone property on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

A hotel developer has purchased the Bridgestone/Firestone tire center at 63 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., a prime piece of real estate that sits at the visual head of Broughton Street.

Bridgestone Retail Operations spokeswoman Susan Steeno confirmed the sale Monday and said it’s currently under contract with an investor for hotel use. Steeno did not disclose the name of the buyer or a sale price.