The Savannah Historic Review Board on Wednesday approved the design details for the Liberty Hotel, which is slated to be built across from the Savannah Civic Center at the corner of Tattnall and Liberty Streets.
The height and mass of the six-story hotel, which will feature 111 guest rooms and encompass just over 8,400-square-feet was approved by the board in February despite opposition from nearby residents.
Details presented at Wednesday’s meeting show that the primary entrance will be on Tattnall Street and feature canopies, ground floor retail space and a rooftop garden.
Traffic is still a variable. The petitioner, Lynch Associates Architects, has also commissioned a traffic study within the block. If the City of Savannah staff requires a pull-through area at the southern end of the property, the petitioner will have to submit revised plans for staff review and approval prior to construction, according to the board’s staff report.
The pending traffic study was an issue for several board members as well as representatives from the Historic Savannah Foundation and nearby residents, who all urged the board to continue the petition until after the study was completed.
“We continue to be concerned about congestion. Both Tattnall and Jefferson streets are very narrow and existing traffic and trucks that supply various businesses around there are already a problem,” said resident Tom Colgrove.
“… A number of us feel, to be very honest with you, that this is a money grab by the developer to maximize the number of rooms and depend on city for parking and not go to the expense to provide their own parking and just maximize their revenue.”
Despite the concerns, the board voted 5 to 4 to approve the design with member Becky Lynch recusing herself from both the hearing and vote. Wednesday’s vote is contingent on several conditions that will need to be approved by staff, including any changes stemming from the parking study outcome.
Other changes could be in the pipeline for the hotel. The Beehive Foundation, which is located nearby on Harris Street, has filed an appeal challenging the previously approved height and mass of the building. That petition will be heard by the City of Savannah Zoning Board of Appeals later this month.
Congress Street development
The board on Wednesday also approved design details for a four-story building that will occupy an empty lot at the corner of Congress and Jefferson Streets. The board approved the height and mass of the project last month.
The multi-use building, which is being developed by North Carolina-based Durban Group, will feature ground-floor retail space and the remaining three stories will have 23 transient residential units, according to documents submitted by LS3P Dawson, the architectural firm designing the project.
Board members Jennifer Deacon and Scott Cook recused themselves from the hearing and vote with the other members voting in favor of the project.
Proposed Bay Street hotel
The board continued a petition for height and mass approval for a seven-story hotel at 630 West Bay St. The proposed Hotel Savannah, which is being designed by Greenline Architecture, would occupy the same site as the existing Comfort Inn and Suites.
A petition for a four-story parking garage, which is part of the same project, was granted height and mass approval by the board. Design details for the garage will be presented to the board for approval at a future meeting.