Updated: Thu, 01/10/2013 - 08:19

Pedestrian corridor to join Westin, Trade Center

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A weather-protected pedestrian corridor between Hutchinson Island’s hotel and its trade center neighbor was approved Wednesday by the board of the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center.

The projected $108,000 cost will be shared equally by the Trade Center and CSX, which owns the Westin Savannah Harbor Resort.

“This is definitely a plus for us as we sell the connectivity and seamless operations between the Westin and the Trade Center,” said Westin general manager Mark Spadoni, who added that the hotel’s ownership is on board with the project.

The project, designed by Lott+Barber Architects, will create a safe, well-lit passageway that is consistent with the two entities’ shared standards of quality and customer care, said Bob Coffey, Trade Center general manager.

The corridor, which will feature an acoustical dropped ceiling and lighted, etched glass panels, will allow visitors to travel between the two buildings in comfort, regardless of weather.

“Anything that we can do to enhance our visitor experience in both buildings is definitely a good thing,” said Joe Marinelli, president of Visit Savannah and a member of the Trade Center board.

Board chairman Mark Smith agreed.

“The Westin is our biggest customer,” he said. “This will be good for both of us.”

In other business, the board received another in a growing collection of authentically detailed models of ships from the 20th century and beyond that represent maritime innovation.

The Dona Angela Maria, a high-speed Fast Crew Supplier built by the Netherlands’ Damen Shipyards Group, features Caterpillar engines and a sleek, axe-bow shape designed to make it more stable in rough waters.

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