Housing Authority of Savannah
East Savannah Gateway Choice Neighborhood Initiative
Throughout 2012 and 2013, Lord Aeck Sargent led a team assisting the Housing Authority of Savannah (HAS) with a HUD-granted “Choice Neighborhood Initiative” for the East Savannah Gateway, a 1,400-acre area on the eastern edge of the downtown historic district in perhaps the most well-known planned city in America.
East Savannah Gateway is centered on the Wheaton Street Corridor and the public housing communities of Fred Wessels Homes, Robert Hitch Village, and Edgar Blackshear Homes. While the area overlaps multiple sub-neighborhoods and has a history tied to shipbuilding and other activities related to the nearby Savannah River, its proximity to the old city and increasing investment in mixed-use development, street infrastructure and residential renovations make it an emerging urban district that complements the fine-grained pattern of squares and preserved buildings.
LAS' urban design and planning practice is supporting the overall planning effort with demographic and physical analysis, stakeholder visioning, community outreach and engagement, and urban design. As an example, the firm conducted a team “charrette” that brought major stakeholders together to discuss the future physical form of the Wheaton Street corridor and the HAS target sites. The charrette report will be included as an appendix in the final Transformation Plan.
LAS’ housing and mixed-use studio is also part of the development team for the Hitch Village site. As the architect of record for the Hitch Village revitalization, LAS is assisting the planning and development teams in conceptual analysis of Hitch and evaluation of Enterprise Green Communities criteria for Wessels and Blackshear.
East Savannah Gateway is a 2011 Choice Neighborhood awardee, one of 13 for that funding cycle and 47 overall in the nation.