December 20

Savannah Convention Hotel Project And Expansion Move Forward

letterhead_logoThe much-anticipated hotel project on Hutchison Island adjacent to the Savannah International Trade & Convention Center (SITCC), managed by the Georgia World Congress Center Authority (GWCCA), is moving forward with a newly-inked development partnership  – and expansion of the riverfront convention center is also being planned.

At its Dec. 14 board meeting, the Georgia International and Maritime Trade Center Authority (GIMTCA), which governs SITCC, unanimously selected Songy Highroads, LLC., in partnership with Omni Hotels & Resorts, to develop a convention headquarters hotel.

It will feature at least 300 guest rooms, complement events at the SITCC and greater Savannah area, and is expected to be the catalyst for additional development in the area while creating new demand for bookings at the SITCC. The facility features 100,000 square feet of exhibit space, 50,000 square feet of meeting space (four executive board rooms and 13 meeting rooms), a 367-seat state-of-the art Oglethorpe Auditorium and a 25,000-square-foot Grand Ballroom. Market studies that supported the viability of a convention center hotel also suggested the time is right to expand the SITTC, so the board intends to pursue creation of 100,000 additional square feet of exhibit space, more meeting space and another ballroom (50,000 square feet) at the facility.

As for the hotel development team, Atlanta-based Songy Highroads is a commercial real estate firm that focuses primarily on urban infill projects with particular emphasis in the office and hotel sectors. The company’s current hotel projects include Hyatt Place Houston and Hyatt Regency Houston in Texas, Hyatt Regency Fairfax, Va. and Sheraton Metairie Galleria, New Orleans.

And Omni Hotels & Resorts are certainly familiar to the GWCCA. The brand’s Convention Collection features hotels near, or connected to, convention centers or other major venues, including the Omni Atlanta Hotel at CNN Center.

GWCCA has managed the SITCC under contract with GIMTCA since April 2014. GIMTCA approved a three-year extension of that agreement at its Aug. 10 board meeting.