Savannah Riverfront plan remains stalled

15 09 2008

 

By Johnny Edwards| Augusta Chronicle

The developer of a highly anticipated Savannah riverfront office-condominium-hotel-retail project has said he has yet to buy the six acres of riverfront property from the city — a $1.85 million transaction — because he’s waiting for the Georgia Environmental Protection Division to sign off.

The EPD says, however, the holdup isn’t on its end.

Nikki Haborak, a geologist with the Brownfield Redevelopment Unit, said she asked American Environmental and Construction Services, a consulting company for Bluffton, S.C.-based The Foxfield Co., to add more information to its compliance status report on June 20. She has been waiting for an answer ever since, she said.

Once the process is finished, EPD will issue a limitation of liability letter protecting the property’s new owner from being sued over past contamination, Ms. Haborack said.

Cleanup of the site, a former train yard, has long been finished.

The city’s October 2006 purchase agreement with Foxfield says closing can be delayed until environmental issues are cleared up.

After the sale, if the company doesn’t break ground within two years the city can buy back the land.

Foxfield president Harry Kitchen declined interview requests, and Downtown Development Authority Executive Director Margaret Woodard said she wouldn’t discuss The Watermark either because Mr. Kitchen asked that all information come through him.

Read on here.

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