SAVANNAH AGENDA: Property Matters

SAVANNAH AGENDA: Property Matters

Savannah’s historic Manger building may be converted (back) to hotel

About 37 years after it was converted into an office building, the historic Manger building overlooking downtown Savannah’s Johnson Square may be returning to its roots.

A zoning amendment approved by the Metropolitan Planning Commission last week allows for the restoration and conversion of the building into a hotel, as it was used for much of the 20th century.

The building’s owner, South Carolina-based Manger Building, LLC, recently requested an amendment to the city’s hotel overlay district map to include portions of Bull and Congress Street fronting the building. The request was to allow the building to be restored and re-established as a hotel after previously operating as one from 1912 through 1977. As an alternative, MPC staff recommended allowing for a re-establishment of a historic hotel within the overlay district. The amendment, which the owner agreed to, applies only to contributing buildings that were converted from hotels to another use within a designated “period of significance” from 1733-1960.

The Manger Hotel was once Savannah’s “finest place for hospitality, with the city’s first fully air-conditioned guest rooms and the rooftop Purple Tree Lounge,” according to Gunn, Meyerhoff and Shay, the design firm that designed and oversaw the building’s conversion into an office building in 1985.

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