Once known as one of the south’s most efficient electric power plants, Savannah’s Riverside Station began producing electricity on October 31, 1912. Then operating as the Savannah Power Company, it would continue to power the city for nearly a century before its decommissioning in 2005.
In 2012, the historic industrial property was acquired by The Kessler Collection for $9 million. On December 7, 2016, The Kessler Collection broke ground on a $270 million adaptive reuse project that would allow the site to energize Savannah’s riverfront again in a different type of light.
The abandoned power plant from the Savannah River in 2012. (Ennis Davis, AICP)
On July 29, 2020, the 4.5 acre property reopened as the Plant Riverside District. Creating 700 new downtown jobs, the mixed-use 650,000-square-foot project includes a 419-room JW Marriott Hotel, three rooftop bars, more than a dozen dining options, specialty retail shops and science exhibits integrated into public spaces with kids splash pads, riverfront seating and more.
In addition, the project included a quarter mile extension of Savannah popular river walk and the preservation of the power plant’s iconic 176-foot twin smokestacks. Here is a look at one of the south’s most welcome and high profile historic industrial adaptive reuse projects.