City and HSF Collaborate on Unique Restoration Project
SAVANNAH, GA (September 27, 2018) —Today Savannah City Council approved a first-of-its-kind agreement between the City and the Historic Savannah Foundation (HSF) to restore a historic building next to the Savannah Police Department’s new Central Precinct, and offer it as a home for newly enlisted police officers.
The two-story structure was built in the 1890s and is located at 419 W. 34th St., between the Cuyler-Brownville and Metropolitan neighborhoods. The plan is to renovate the home into a caretaker's cottage for the Central Precinct facility, which is currently under construction on the same property. Two police officers assigned to the Central Precinct would be offered reduced rent in the newly renovated duplex in exchange for performing certain regular caretaker duties at the precinct, such as mowing the lawn.
“This is a great opportunity for our officers to live in the neighborhood and be 100% part of the community where they work,” said Savannah Police Director Roy Minter. “It helps us close the gap between our officers and the citizens we serve. In addition, having an officer live next to the precinct will enhance the upkeep of the property. It is a win-win for the police and neighborhood.”
This project dates back to 2015 when, after discussions with Historic Savannah Foundation, the City modified the site plan for the new Precinct facility in order to save the two-story caretakers cottage, the most historically significant structure on the property.
Under the agreement approved today, HSF will contribute $50,000 to hire an architect and develop plans and specifications the City will use to hire a contractor to rehabilitate the structure in keeping with the historic and architectural character of the building. HSF will also provide on-site advise during construction to ensure the work stays within the prescribed guidelines. The balance of the contribution will be placed in an account for ongoing maintenance of the building’s exterior. In exchange for this contribution, the City will donate a conservation easement on the property to HSF for a period of 10 years from completion of the project. This action protects the building and enables HSF’s continued oversight of exterior alterations, repairs and improvements of the structure.
“HSF is pleased to collaborate with the City and the police department on a project where several community goals intersect: public safety, affordable housing, and historic preservation,” said HSF President Daniel Carey.
The renovation will cost approximately $250,000, which would be paid for using SPLOST funds. This agreement to restore the home and increase police presence in the area aligns with the City’s Savannah Forward strategic plan under Neighborhood Revitalization and Public Safety priorities.