Savannah Convention Center Selects Partner for Hutchison Island Hotel Project

SAVANNAH, GA. – (Dec. 19, 2016) The Georgia International and Maritime Trade Center Authority
(GIMTCA), which governs the Savannah International Trade & Convention Center (SITCC), has selected Songy Highroads, LLC., in partnership with Omni Hotels & Resorts, to develop a convention headquarters hotel. It will be located on Hutchison Island adjacent to the riverfront convention center, which is managed by the Georgia World Congress Center Authority (GWCCA).

The next step of the agreement, which was unanimously approved by the GIMTCA board at its Dec. 14 meeting, is to work through development agreements, said Sherrie Spinks, SITCC’s General Manager.

The much-anticipated hotel project will feature at least 300 guest rooms and serve to complement events at the SITCC and greater Savannah area, according to the Request for Qualifications/Request for Proposal (RFQ/RFP) filed by GWCCA on behalf of GIMTCA. It is also envisioned that the project will spur additional development in the area and create new demand for bookings at the SITCC, which 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.

GIMTCA also announces today its intention to pursue expansion of the convention facility by creating 100,000 square feet of additional exhibit space, more meeting space and another ballroom (50,000 square feet).

Various market studies commissioned by GIMTCA in recent years have supported pursuing a convention hotel to enhance the SITCC and that it is also time to expand the facility. The intention of both Authorities is to develop the hotel without public financing. Additionally, the hotel will be designed to operate efficiently and use environmentally-sustainable architecture, construction and technology.

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. Past hotel projects include the Marriott Residence Inn in Atlanta, Wyndham Vinings in suburban Atlanta, Dallas Hilton Garden Inn Market Center and Starwood Aloft Galleria, Houston, and Hyatt Place Washington, DC.

Omni Hotels & Resorts provides guests an authentic feel for the local flavor in leading business gateways and leisure destinations across North America. The brand’s Convention Collection features world-class hotels near, or connected to, convention centers or other major venues, some of which include the Omni Atlanta Hotel at CNN Center, Omni Dallas Hotel, Omni Fort Worth Hotel, Omni Shoreham Hotel in D.C., and the Omni Providence Hotel in Rhode Island. Additionally, Omni has two resorts in the southeast region – Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort, 130 miles south of Savannah, and Omni Hilton Head which is 30 miles to the northeast.

The 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. The partnership connects the
state’s top two tourist destinations.