What’s next for Broughton?

My City Talk column today looks at some big trends and big questions for the Savannah area economy in 2014: Questions worth asking, trends worth watching in 2014.

It’s tough to look at big issues — especially several at once — in 800 words, so I generally feel a little ambivalent about columns that take a sweeping view.

Inevitably, things are left out.

I did mention, however, that Ben Carter Enterprises is now marketing a “premier portfolio” of downtown properties, mostly on or near Broughton Street. Click here for the PDF of the brochure.

The properties for lease include 301 West Broughton (old Satisfied/Locos space), 309 and 311 West Broughton, 301 West Congress and the vacant lot across the street at 229 West Congress, 301 West Bay (currently home to Club One), 300 West Broughton (currently home to the office furniture supplier Mason Inc.), 226-228 West Broughton (including the current Atwell’s), and more.

Here’s the full list of addresses:

  • 301 West Broughton Street
  • 309 West Broughton Street
  • 311 West Broughton Street
  • 301 West Congress Street
  • 229 West Congress Street
  • 301 West Bay Street
  • 300 West Broughton Street
  • 226 – 228 West Broughton Street
  • 223 West Broughton Street
  • 220 West Broughton Street
  • 216-218 West Broughton Street
  • 204 West Broughton Street (Unit 101)
  • 201 West Broughton Street (Unit 100)
  • 110 West Broughton Street
  • 109 West Broughton Street
  • 103 West Broughton Street (1St Floor)
  • 18 East Broughton Street
  • 20 East Broughton Street
  • 25 East Broughton Street

It’s interesting to note that the brochure lists Ann Taylor as being “under construction”, but I don’t know the precise location of that.

At the end of brochure, you can see press clippings that give readers more info about the downtown scene, including several of my columns (not all entirely sunny columns, btw).

For many years, there have been lots of properties available for sale or lease in Savannah’s traditional downtown retail district. At various points, single property owners have held a significant number of properties.

But there are a few things that seem different this time around. A fair number of the buildings owned owned or marketed by Ben Carter Enterprises are currently occupied, so even if they don’t find new tenants in the short run, it seems likely that existing tenants will stay for some period of time. Several of those existing businesses also owned the buildings that they’re in; apparently BCE’s purchase offers (or other deals) were pretty good.

And Ben Carter Enterprises, which is also developing the outlet mall in Pooler, is already dealing with major retailers on that project and on other projects elsewhere, including Jacksonville, Fl. and Columbus, Ga.

UPDATE: Based on some additional information I have received, it seems that BCE does not own all of the properties being marketed in this portfolio. Maybe for a future column or post, I’ll try to pin down the precise business relationships for each of these properties — or maybe I’ll just wait for the stories to unfold.