Cay Building to complement Ellis Square area
Count me among those who initially wondered if the Cay Building, the new office building on Ellis Square, would be a good thing for that part of downtown.
No part of downtown has changed as much as the Ellis Square area in the last half-decade. It wasn’t long ago that I worked down there every day in the Savannah Morning News building on Bay St. (now home to Ruth’s Chris steakhouse and the condos).
I parked my car where the AVIA hotel sits now. My wife parked hers in the parking garage where Ellis Square is today. We drank coffee in what is now the busiest commercial space in town, The Lady and Sons restaurant.
Needless to say all those changes were for the better. The much better (although I must admit I do miss working downtown). But like many others I was concerned that another large square building – even one that replaced what was an unremarkable surface parking lot -- would be the tipping point for the area. I wondered what kind of canyon effect would be created along Bryan Street between the west edge of Johnson Square and the east end of Ellis Square. With the Palmer & Cay Building (where Savannah Bank is on Johnson Square) and the new Cay Building and the AVIA Hotel structure all right there together, you had to fear the area would become claustrophobic.
Those concerns, at least from my perspective, have proven unfounded.
I was down there late last week working on an update on the building and was just blown away by how well everything fits together. Come September, when all the streetscaping is done and the construction equipment is gone, it’s going to be pleasant to sit in Ellis Square with a cup of coffee and a newspaper and just relax and enjoy the surroundings.
Plus, the Cay Building still has some open office space. Maybe I can get the bosses to lease that and make it our “downtown bureau.” So long as I get a parking spot in the underground garage, too.
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