City of Savannah will renovate downtown home to house police officers
The City of Savannah approved the next step to renovate a historic home that will house Savannah police officers. The vote of approval happened at Thursday's city council meeting.
The city will be working with the Historic Savannah Foundation to renovate the property at 419 W. 34th St. It sits between the Cuyler-Brownsville and Metropolitan neighborhoods.
The building is located to the soon-to-be, new central precinct for Savannah PD.
The city said this agreement is the first-of-its-kind.
“We’ll really develop a nice facility and it’ll add to the neighborhood,” said Savannah Mayor Eddie Deloach.
According to the city, two officers working in the central precinct will live in the home for reduced rent.
"This gives an opportunity for a place where we can put someone. They may be a starting officer," said Deloach.
Alderman Van Johnson said he hopes this will keep city employees from moving out of the city.
"If we're not careful, all of our city employees will live in Pooler," said Johnson.
Both Johnson and Deloach said this will make the surrounding community safer.
"This gives a police presence in most anytime during the day or night," said Deloach.
Some people who live nearby, like Lois Broxton, are all for it.
Broxton owns Babycakes, which is right down the street from the property.
"I think it'll be a good thing," said Broxton.
Broxton said her neighborhood has been through a lot.
"Years ago this area used to be plagued by a lot of crime," said Broxton.
But she said the neighborhood is on the rise, especially after this.
"More police presence in the area...we'll end up with a better neighborhood," said Broxton.
According to the city, the renovation will cost close to $250,000. They'll pay for it using SPLOST funds.
The project has been ongoing since 2015 when the city decided to save the two-story property on the precinct's site. They said the property was "the most historically significant structure on the property."
The Historic Savannah Foundation will give $50,000 toward the project to hire an architect and develop plans.