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EMPOWERING PLACE Romana Riley School Building & Grounds


EMPOWERING PLACE Romana Riley School Building & Grounds Design Ethos Do-ference April 19-21, 2012 DMGT 740: Sustainable Practices in Design Professor Scott Boylston Spring 2012 Krista Siniscarco Design Management, MFA candidate ‘12

Photo credits: James Hersick, Philip Mak & Krista Siniscarco


TABLE OF CONTENTS

1 Design Ethos Do-ference 2 4 6 8 10

Workshop Theme Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Conclusions

13 Asset Map 14 15

Do-ference Mapping Exercise “Factbook” Worksheets

19 Scenarios 20 21 22 38 40 41

Residential Scenario Multi-Use Scenario Scenarios Details Spider Diagrams Newspaper Articles

43 Next Steps


DESIGN ETHOS DO-FERENCE “What’s he building in there?” We had a fun, exciting and educational three days during the Design Ethos 2012 Do-ference. I had the privilege of working with and amazing multi-disciplinary team of design thinkers who were tasked with identifying development opportunities for an abandoned school building. My role was to act as a steward of the process for Theme E - Empowering Place as we brainstormed around the Romana Riley School on Waters Avenue in Savannah, GA. The team’s goal for the three days of workshops was not to define a single solution but to demonstrate an approach to identifying and evaluating opportunities that could be adopted by the Waters Avenue community for future projects. The team started with a guided tour of the school property and ended the intensive three days with a final presentation to the Design Ethos conference attendees. The group began their ideation process with a refocus to examine the opportunities for the site, needs of the Waters Ave neighborhoods and broader urban context. Members of the community were invited to engage in engaged in a cultural asset mapping exercise of the Waters Avenue corridor. The goal of the exercise was to determine what assets exist, asset categories, what may be missing and where there are clusters. The asset map was a first step in identifying opportunities for the Romana Riley School that would have a positive impact on the community. The team then went on to explore uses and activities for the whole property. Four distinct opportunities were identified and expanded into scenarios, outlining positive and negative attributes of each. The four scenarios included reopening the property as a charter school, converting the building to residential units (multi-family units and live/ work spaces,) community green space and urban farming, and mixed used repurposing with community spaces a variety of business opportunities. For the remainder of the SCAD spring quarter I will be working to further develop and visualize these scenarios. My goal is to document the approach and process to create a toolkit the community can use for future development projects. >> Blog post - May 2, 2012 http://www.designethos.org/wp/ K. Siniscarco, DMGT 740

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THEME E // EMPOWERING PLACE ASSET: Ramona Riley School Building and Grounds On a geographically central corner of the Waters Avenue study area sits a large, vacant building that holds great promise as a cornerstone of a revitalized corridor, even as its present conditions cast a shadow of lost opportunity. Ramona Riley Elementary School, built in the 1920s, closed in 1990 and has sat vacant ever since. While interest is high in redeveloping the majestic building and its property, renovation and remediation challenges have plagued the structure. Ramona Riley plays an integral role in the future health of the community. What potential uses would provide the most benefits to the local community and economy, and how can design play a role in framing a positive discussion for shared prosperity with strong local roots?

Waters Avenue corridor and surrounding area. (Romana Riley property in black.)

2 | Empowering Place, Romana Riley School

Romana Riley neighborhood.

Romana Riley building and grounds.


TEAM COMPOSITION Charlie Cannon -RISD faculty, Alabama Engine Matt Leavall - Auburn faculty, Alabama Engine Sara Jo Johnson- SCAD faculty, DMGT Krista Siniscarco - SCAD student, DMGT R Campbell - SCAD DMGT, Volta Collaborative Julie Rogers Varland - SCAD faculty, ARCH David Trayte - SCAD student, HIPR Andy Webb - SCAD student, HIPR

Rosemary Banks

Phil Mak Jamie Hammond

Philip Mak - SCAD student, GRDS Jaime Hammond - SCAD student, INDS Chris Miller - SCAD faculty, DMGT Gideon Kossoff - Schumacker College faculty James Hersick - Rocketfuel Design

Sidney Johnson Amy Sara Drew

Chris Miller James Hersick Gideon Korsoff

Charlie Cannon Matt Leavall

Rosemary Banks - community member, WABA Sidney Johnson - community member, WABA Amy Sarah Drew - Ms. Amy’s Music School

Julie Rogers Varland

TOUR GUIDES/ PRESERVATION EXPERTS

David Trayte Andy Webb

Sara Jo Johnson

Krista Siniscarco

R Campbell (Synthesizer) Full participation over 3 days Partial participation K. Siniscarco, DMGT 740

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DAY 1 - THURSDAY, APRIL 19 Thursday began with an introduction to the Do-ference and Design Ethos conference structure, teams and tasks. The teams then divided and were given walking tours. Theme E received a tour of the Romana Riley facilities and grounds. The tour was led by David Trayte and Andy Webb. David and Andy are Historic Preservation MFA students at SCAD. They had been working on an assessment project of the building during the previous quarter and transitioning to a renovation and repurposing recommendation for the property. Thursday afternoon all of the groups came back together for lunch at the WW Law center, located West of the Waters Ave corridor. Following lunch, the groups reconvened for introductions, goals for the team and initial thoughts and ideas of the Romana Riley campus.

4 | Empowering Place, Romana Riley School


TAKE-AWAYS AND INSIGHTS Initial Thoughts/Reactions: • IDEAS are easy. Matching them, enabling them and investing in them is hard. • How can human behavior, community interest shape a design process? • Architecture can enable or disable a community. • WITH not FOR • Scale of building/project/impact/renovation/ economic.

Goals: 1. To not Define a single solution 2. To Demonstrate an approach 3. Package approach that can be used by others

K. Siniscarco, DMGT 740

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DAY 2 - FRIDAY, APRIL 20 Friday morning, the group received a presentation from Historic Preservation, MFA students David Trayte and Andy Webb. David and Andy gave an extensive report on the condition of the building, historic attributes and status, renovation cost estimates, tax benefits and property zoning. Following the presentation, the group invited in other community members and engaged in a cultural asset mapping exercise of the Waters Avenue corridor. The goal of the exercise was to determine what assets exist, asset categories, what may be missing and where there are clusters. The asset map was a first step in identifying opportunities for the Romana Riley School that would have a positive impact on the community. In the afternoon, the group had a conversation with Roger Moss. Mr. Moss had submitted a proposal to the Savannah School Board to reopen Romana Riley as a charter school. The school would offer a classic K-12 education and admit students based on a lottery system. The second half of the afternoon was spend brainstorming development opportunities for the campus. The five main ideas that were considered included reopening the property as a school, converting the buildings to residential units, creating community space, urban farming and local food, and a variety of business opportunities. The group then subdivided to further develop the details of each idea.

School: • • • •

Charter school Boys’ prepatory Waldorf School K-12 Classic

Food: • • • • •

Urban farming Grocery Café Soup restaurant Culinary skills

Residential: • Live/work • Residential Studios • Apartments to convert to condo

Business: • • • • •

Local retail Kiosks Pop-ups Creative biz Co-work lab

6 | Empowering Place, Romana Riley School

Community: • Theater • Community headquarters • Exhibition space


PROCESS 1. REFOCUS by looking at • What opportunities the site presents {Site Assessment} • Opportunities and Needs of the • Neighborhood {Asset Mapping} • The broader urban context 2. EXPLORE • Identify new uses and activities for the whole property 3. Develop various SCENARIOS • To better understand each one • To better assess the range of opportunity • To suggest broader discussion to uncover more options 4. Enable DISCUSSION • Develop process so that the community can better engage in the broader discussion regarding the future of the property

K. Siniscarco, DMGT 740

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DAY 3 - SATURDAY, APRIL 21 The final day of the Do-ference started with the group documenting their process and methods for the three days of activity. The group then generated an outline for the final presentation. The team was divided into subgroups to detail the process and further develop four scenarios for development of the Romana Riley campus. The final presentation was storyboarded by the team facilitators, Charlie Cannon and Matt Leavall. The team then divided the tasks of photographing and transcribing notes and diagrams, cataloging images, generating content and designing the final presentation. The day culminated with a 15-minute presentation from each of the six theme groups to all Design Ethos conference attendees.

8 | Empowering Place, Romana Riley School


SCENARIOS CHARTER SCHOOL Charter School

+

BUILDING OCCUPIED • Drug Free Zone • Possible Influx of residents • Slowing of traffic • Presence of kids, parents and staff MULTI-USE AFTER HOURS • Community Workshops • Vocational Training • Meeting Space

-

BUILDING COULD BECOME AND ISLAND • Disconnect from residents and community leading to lack of support or resentment • Commuter population PROJECT DELAYS • Unrealistic time lines • Abandoned project TAX INCREASE?

QUALITY EDUCATION • Service Opportunities • Mentorship opportunities

RESIDENTIAL Residential

+

-

BUILDING PRESERVATION

GENTRIFICATION WORRIES

APARTMENTS — > CONDOS • Brings people in • Diversity • Green Space • Brings in $$ • Vocational Subsidies ???

LOW INCOME HOUSING • No added value to the community • Already excess of available housing

POSSIBLE LIVE/WORK SPACE • Creative Culture • Community Mentorship • Shared Spaces

LIMITED OPTIONS WITH PRESERVATION

ZONING • 12 Units

NO SUPPORTING SERVICES • Grocery, retail, cafes, etc...

JOBS

EMPOWERING PLACE |

MIXED USE Mixed Use HIGH ACTIVITY • Diverse Groups • Collaboration • Communication

+

USE REFLECTIVE OF COMMUNITY NEEDS • Community Organizations HQ AWOL, CAPS, WABA • Vocational Training • Child Care • Visual and Performing Arts • Small Biz Incubator • Walk-In Clinic / Healthcare • Greenspace

EMPOWERING PLACE |

EMPOWERING PLACE |

Romana Riley Schoolhouse

Romana Riley Schoolhouse

HIGH RISK

Romana Riley Schoolhouse

GREEN SPACE/ URBAN FARM

-

NO CLEAR DEFINITION OF ... • Who Owns. Multiple ownership creates layers of complexity • Revenue Model COMPETES WITH W. W. LAW CENTER

Green Space/Urban Farm

+

START WITHOUT THE BUILDINGS • Incremental costs • Immediate activity • Meeting place COMMUNITY GARDEN / PARK • Walkable, fresh, healthy food • Community Events • Festivals • Planting Harvesting events • Cookoffs • Food Assistance program • $ Opportunities to sell to markets

-

PARKING TRAFFIC SPEED WHO MANAGES?

WHAT IF BUILDING SITS EMPTY? WILL THE COMMUNITY LOSE FAITH.

BUILDING USE • In Phases • Mixed Use: Training, Retail, Cafe EMPOWERING PLACE |

Romana Riley Schoolhouse

K. Siniscarco, DMGT 740

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CONCLUSIONS SCENARIOS {Broader Insights} 1. Layered Development + Revenue Strategy 2. Consider Phasing 3. Link Design Strategy with Geographic Strategy 4. Understand how each scenario is financially feasible

1. IMMEDIATELY possible • Share work with neighborhood residents 2. SHORT-TERM by looking at • Verify economic assumptions • $5.7 Mil. to bring to code • Explore Zoning options • Find out how it fits with larger city agendas 3. ONGOING by going deeper

CONTINUED PROCESS NEIGHBORHOOD AND COMMUNITY ASSESSMENTS

SITE ASSESSMENT

OPTIONS & IMPACT EXPLORATION

CHARTER SCHOOL

RESIDENTIAL

MIXED-USE COMMUNITY HUB

LARGER CONVERSATION OTHER OPPORTUNITIES?

EMPOWERING PLACE | Romana Riley Schoolhouse 10 | Empowering Place, Romana Riley School

GREEN SPACE/ FOOD SPACE


We need to design the baton to enable the larger community to move Romana Riley forward.

K. Siniscarco, DMGT 740

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ASSET MAP On the second day of the Do-ference the team invited members of the community to join in a cultural asset mapping exercise. The community was asked to used color coded postits to label businesses, churches, parks, gardens, organizations, schools and people along the corridor. The goal of the exercise was to visualize what currently exists on the Waters corridor, where there are clusters of activity, where connections exist and what might be missing. The data was then used to inform the development of scenarios. Due to limited time and participation during the Do-ference, the team felt it wise to develop tools to allow the community to continue asset mapping to be used as a future resource. Worksheets were created as part of the WABA “Factbook” (developed in collaboration with the stewards of Empowering Business and Empowering Renewal) that can be easily updated and referenced by members of the WABA community. The worksheets map and list businesses, churches, parks & gardens, and neighborhoods along the corridor. The maps can be used in conjunction with the “business” and “people” directories contained in the Factbook.

Indigo Sky Community Gallery

2

New Prestige Cuts

3

Best Cleaners & Laundry

4

Chu’s Meat & Seafood

5

Katherine’s Corner

6

Discount Muffler & Auto Repair

7

Brady Electric

8

Savannah Barber Styling Institute

9

It’s Amazing Beauty Supplies

10

Billy’s Beverage Center

11

Penny’s & Tania’s Home Cooked Meals

12

Chicago’s

13

Beauty Supplies

14

Lisa’s Chinese Take-out

33rd

15

Ms. Amy’s School of Music

34th

16

D & D Photography & Design

17

Everard & Co Antique Auctions

Bolton Waldburg

3 Park Duffy Henry Anderson 31st

5 6

34th

8

35th

7

36th

36th

9 10

11

15

20

37th

21

Seiler

22

39th 40th

16 17

19

Hamilton

38th

12 13 14

41st

35th

18

Hamilton

Maupas

32nd

Cedar St.

1 Graydon

41st 42nd

23 24 25 26 27 28 29

Victory Dr.

30

Created by Kyle Averack of Empowering Renewal

2 4

Live Oak St.

1

Waldburg

Waters Ave.

Otty St.

Harmon St.

Gwinnett

Created by Elisa Jara of Empowering Business

Waters Avenue Businesses

K. Siniscarco, DMGT 740

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DO-FERENCE MAPPING EXERCISE

14 | Empowering Place, Romana Riley School


“FACTBOOK” WORKSHEETS

2 4

Park Duffy Henry Anderson 31st

5 6

34th

8

35th

7

Best Cleaners & Laundry

4

Chu’s Meat & Seafood

5

Katherine’s Corner

6

Discount Muffler & Auto Repair

7

Brady Electric

8

Savannah Barber Styling Institute

9

It’s Amazing Beauty Supplies

10

Billy’s Beverage Center

11

Penny’s & Tania’s Home Cooked Meals

12

Chicago’s

13

Beauty Supplies Lisa’s Chinese Take-out

33rd

15

Ms. Amy’s School of Music

34th

16

D & D Photography & Design

17

Everard & Co Antique Auctions

35th

9 10

11

15

Waldburg

32 33 34

36 37

Duffy Henry

38 39 40

Anderson 31st

41 42 43

32nd

34th

36th

20

44

33rd

45

34th

46

35th

35th

Hamilton

47 48

36th

49

Hamilton

50

37th

21

37th

51

Seiler

22

Seiler

52

40th 41st 42nd

23

38th

24

39th

25

40th

26 27 28

Maupas

41st

41st

42nd

29 Victory Dr.

Bolton

Park

19

39th

16 17

Graydon

35

Hamilton

38th

12 13 14

Waldburg

31 Cedar St.

3

18

36th

41st

New Prestige Cuts

14

36th

Hamilton

Maupas

32nd

2

Gwinnett Live Oak St.

Waldburg

3

Indigo Sky Community Gallery

Waters Avenue Businesses Waters Ave.

Bolton

1

Otty St.

Graydon

Cedar St.

Live Oak St.

1

Waldburg

Waters Ave.

Otty St.

Harmon St.

Gwinnett

Harmon St.

Waters Avenue Businesses

30

53 54 55 56 57 58 59

Victory Dr.

60

K. Siniscarco, DMGT 740

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Park

1 2

Fellowship of Love Community Church

4

Bible & Prayer Ministries

5

FHCC Evangelistic

Waldburg

Henry

Bolton Waldburg

1

6

2

7 Duffy

Graydon

3 31st

Park

8 9

Henry

12

31st

34th 35th

34th

16

35th

4

36th Hamilton

19

36th

20

Hamilton

37th Seiler

39th 40th

41st

41st 42nd

5

16 | Empowering Place, Romana Riley School

6

8 9

11 12

14 15

34th

16 17 18

36th

19

Hamilton

20

21

37th

21

22

Seiler

22

23

38th

24

39th

25

40th

26 27

Maupas

28

41st

41st

3

42nd

29 Victory Dr.

Ms. Amy’s School of Music

4

33rd

35th

35th

Hamilton

38th

Maupas

34th

17 18

36th

Best Academy

3

13 32nd

14 15

2

10 Anderson

11

33rd

Park & Basketball Courts

7 Duffy

13 32nd

1

5

10 Anderson

Cedar St.

Asbury Memorial United Methodist Church

3

Live Oak St.

Waldburg

2

Waters Ave.

Bolton

Gwinnett

True Light Bible Institute

Harmon St.

Graydon

Cedar St.

Waters Ave.

Waldburg

Live Oak St.

1

Otty St.

Harmon St.

Gwinnett

Waters Avenue Parks & Gardens Otty St.

Waters Avenue Churches

30

23 24 25 26 27 28 29

Victory Dr.

30


Waters Avenue Neighborhoods Waldburg

3 - Midtown

2

Waldburg

Graydon Bolton Waldburg

Cedar St.

Live Oak St.

2 - Benjamin Van Clark Park

1

Waters Ave.

1 - Eastside

Otty St.

Bolton

Cedar St.

Live Oak St.

Waters Ave.

Harmon St.

Otty St.

1

Graydon

Harmon St.

Gwinnett

Gwinnett

Waldburg

Waters Avenue 2 3 4 5

Park

4 - Live Oak

Park

Duffy

5 - Baldwin Park

Duffy

6 7

Henry

Henry

Anderson

Anderson

4

31st

35th

34th

34th

35th

35th

36th

36th

Hamilton

Hamilton

36th Hamilton

17

20

37th

21

Seiler

22

40th Maupas

41st

41st

42nd

42nd

19

Hamilton

39th

40th

Victory Dr.

16

38th

39th

41st

34th

18

38th

41st

14 15

36th

Seiler

Maupas

12

33rd

35th

37th

5

11

13 32nd

32nd 33rd

34th

9 10

31st

3

8

23 24 25 26 27 28 29

Victory Dr.

30

K. Siniscarco, DMGT 740

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Romana Riley Community Garden holds planting event 4A

WABA FRIDAY

GUILD MAY31

OPEN

WATERS

HOUSE AVENUE

Savannah Morning News. WATERS AVENUE REVITALIZATION ANNIVERSARY ISSUE SAVANNAHNOW.COM

LIGHT OF THE COASTAL EMPIRE

$1.00

WEDNESDAY, MAY 29, 2024

Why I Love Waters Ave

Romana Riley Apartments Celebrates 10 Years

I’ve lived in the Waters Ave corridor for most of my life. I grew up here. My husband and I created a home here. We raised our son here. I’ve seen many changes, both good BY and bad. ROSEMARY People and BANKS businesses have come and gone. And there have been many efforts to make a positive difference in the community. It’s hard to believe that not too long ago this area was riddled with abandoned properties, crime, poverty and a host of other concerns. Waters Ave today reminds me of the neighborhood of my youth—children playing outside, families walking down the streets, thriving local businesses and a buzz of diverse activity. But with all of this change, one thing has remained the same, and that is the heart of this community which continues to beat strong into the future.

A local children playing a game as part of the 10th anniversary celebration of the apartments.

BY AMY SARAH DREW Twelve years ago, Garrison Properties from Kansas City purchased a 1.2-acre abandoned property on Waters Ave. In 2014, a 40-unit affordable housing complex opened it’s doors on the former Romana Riley School building and grounds. The community was initially skeptical of the

housing development, unsure of the implications or the effect on the community. However, over the past 10 years, the Romana Riley Apartments has become a beacon of positive, diverse activity and a cornerstone of the community. The complex’s resident manager, Mr. Elliot Moore, is an active member of WABA and the Live Oak Neighborhood Associa-

tion. Due to Mr. Moor’s partnerships, the residents of Romana Riley have been welcomed into the community with open arms. They work in and patronize local businesses, are active members of neighborhood organizations and have helped return Waters Ave to the culturally rich, safe, hopeful, family friendly community that it once was. » Story continued on 2A

Amazing New Plan for “It’s Amazing” Property BY HEZEKIAH HUDSON

The people of the City of Savannah have had a long-standing love-hate relationship with the “It’s Amazing” strip mall on Waters Ave between 36th & 37th streets. The community is frustrated by the lack of development of the property but hopefully about it’s pos-

sibilities. Many potential investors have shown interest in the building over the past several years, but none had made a purchasing bid. But all that has recently changed. Mr. Charles Jones, a local Savannah businessman and real estate developer has purchased “It’s Amazing” from the City of Savannah. Mr. Jones has been a

strong supporter of the revitalization efforts in Savannah and has been looking for an investment opportunity. Mr. Jones has plans to divide the property into multiple spaces for varying community uses. Mr. Jones hopes to partner with local businesses and organizations to provide meeting and business spaces for different groups and individu-

als in the Waters Ave area. The complex could include arts and performance spaces, meeting rooms, a computer lab, retail space, green areas and even a skate park. Mr. Jones will be holding a meeting to share his development plans and business model and to invite community members to become part of the planning process.

INSIDE

Accidents Down 25% A new study has shown that traffic accidents at the intersections of Waters Ave and E. Henry and E. Anderson streets have dropped 25% over the past 10 years. Experts attribute the reduction to several factors including an increase in walking and biking traffic in the area and more activity on the local properties.

» Riley Gets Landmark Status The Romana Riley building has been declared a National Historic Landmark thanks to the collaborative efforts of a group of residents of the Waters Ave and two graduate students in the Historic Preservation department of SCAD.

» Waters Ave Diversity The Waters Avenue corridor between Victory Dr. and Wheaton St. has historically been an African American neighborhood and recently an area of focused revitalization efforts. However, new census data has highlighted the area as the most ethnically and economically diverse section of the City of Savannah. 175TH YEAR, ISSUE 135

Waters Avenue Then and Now Essay Contest The Waters Avenue corridor has experienced some major changes over the past 10 years and we want to hear about it from you. Send us your thoughts, ideas, memories and visions for the future of Waters Ave. Top finalist will have their essays featured on the website and winners will be voted on by the public.

Go to http://savannahnow.com/watersessaycontest for contest guidelines and submissions!

Savannah Morning News


SCENARIOS Scenario Planning is a strategic planning process of visualizing what future conditions or events are probable, what their consequences or effects would be like, and how to respond to, or benefit from them. The Empowering Place team made the decision to use scenarios as to not define a single solution for the property and to design a tool that could be used for development of other properties on Waters Ave. The scenarios from the Do-ference were transformed and further developed to create a more concrete vision of future paths of development for Romana Riley School and implications for the community. The outcome was 4 separate scenarios­­—three residential housing paths and one multiple use plan for the property. The first diagram outlines 3 scenarios based on different housing development options. As you move through each scenario from top to bottom, the cause and effect of each action or attribute is revealed. Each scenario offers opportunities for the community to intervene and prevent the events of a certain path from occurring. The scenarios also offer opportunities for the community to support, steward and encourage events leading to a positive outcome. Low Income Housing - tenant has 1-2 times the amount of rent in income. Rent is often subsidized by the government. Affordable Housing - tenant has 3-4 times the amount of rent in income. Rent is based on the medium income levels and housing in a particular location. Thisvalues diagram outlines a single scenario with multiple paths This diagram outlines 3 scenarios or parts. The outlined paths can be developed separately, in based on different housing The second diagram outlines a single scenario with multiple paths or parts. development options. As you move through each scenario phases or paths simultaneously. Eachseparately, path can removed from and effect of each action or The outlined can be developed inalso phases or simultaneously. from top be to bottom, the cause Ideas/ Each path can also be removed from the context of the Romana Riley attribute is revealed. Each offers opportunities for the context of the Romana Riley property and implimentedscenario in Partnership community to intervene the events of a property and implemented in different locationsthe along Waters Ave or in the and prevent different locations alongtoWaters Ave orcertain in the City ofmembers Savannah. path occuring. The scenariosopportunities also offer opportunities City of Savannah. To continue build this scenario, community for the community to support, steward and encourage events were invited to add partnership opportunities to the paths. Theare To continue to ideas buildand this scenario, community members leading to a positive outcome. postit notes with these additional comments can be found at the end of this

Opportunity for intervention

Opportunity for encouragement

invited to add ideas and partnership opportunities to the paths.

book and label according to corresponding scenario number.

K. Siniscarco, DMGT 740

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This diagram outlines 3 scenarios based on different housing development options. As you move through each scenario from top to bottom, the cause and effect of each action or attribute is revealed. Each scenario offers opportunities for the community to intervene and prevent the events of a certain path occuring. The scenarios also offer opportunities for the community to support, steward and encourage events leading to a positive outcome.

RESIDENTIAL SCENARIOS

THEME E // EMPOWERING PLACE RESIDENTIAL SCENARIOS (3) Romana Riley School Building and Grounds

1

Early Developments

Building

Community garden

Building Occupied

No development of green space

No community presence on property

Long-term Implications

2

Low Income Housing

Parking Lot

“Vacant” Unattended Lot

Outdoor gathering space

Section 8 - no application or review process for residency

High turnover in residents

Property neglect or abandonment by owners

End up in same situation in the future

20 | Empowering Place, Romana Riley School

Temporary (or long-term) use of green space

Building Occupied

Build relationship with community

40 units, 1-2 bed - elderly - families - children

Resident manager on site

Increase in crime and drug activity

WABA member

WABA Guild

3

Affordable Housing

Residents with skills & income

Historic preservation

Landmark Status

Landmark Status

Increase parking, decrease green space

Increase diversity

Building Occupied

Community green space

Community garden

Outdoor event space

WABA

Multi units for creatives - group work space

Shared community space

AWOL

Performance/ meeting space

Community outreach & workshops

Creative skill development

Youth & elder programs

Improve safety

Slowing traffic

Investment in community leads to future investments

Live/Work Space

Gentrification

Walking traffic

Activity on property

Opportunity for encouragement

Mentoring programs

Application process & background check for residents

community assets

Gentrification

Exterior historic preservation

Opportunity for intervention

Central point of activity on Waters

(diversity in activity)

Improve safety

Symbol of community

Opportunity for intervention “It’s Amazing” development

Future investments in the community

Opportunity for encouragement


This diagram outlines a single scenario with multiple paths

MULTI-USE SCENARIO

or parts. The outlined paths can be developed separately, in phases or simultaneously. Each path can also be removed from

MULTI-USE SCENARIO (1) THEME E // EMPOWERING PLACE

the context of the Romana Riley property and implimented in different locations along Waters Ave or in the City of Savannah.

Romana Riley School Building and Grounds

4

Green Space

Immediate development of community garden

Farmers’ Market

Harambee Farms extension

Visual & performing arts space

Local Cafe (organic food)

WABA

Community Events

Community members develop spaces based on needs

Business Incubator

“Needs assessment” of community

Community training & internships

Small business mentor program (WABA)

BlockLab

headquarters

Community communication & collaboration

Festivals/ craft fairs

Vocational Training

Meeting space for community organizations

Activity on property - community gathering space

Planting/ harvesting

invited to add ideas and partnership opportunities to the paths.

Community Space

AWOL office

Walkable, fresh, healthy food

To continue to build this scenario, community members are

Ideas/ Partnership opportunities

Creative Coast

Skate park designed by local kids

Thinc Savannah

Professional “soft” skills training

Technical “computer” skills training

Vocational skills training

Creative business presence

WABA Guild

Feed talents back into community

Harambee Garments

Cook-offs

Property developed in phases

Meal prep/ cooking classes

Community members servicing community

Grant opportunities

Space to make & sell local goods

Starfish Cafe

Food assistance program

ECC/ WW Law Center

Benefits and trajectory for all parts of multi-use scenario. Develop property

(historic landmark)

Fill community needs

Increase public safety

Decrease crime & poverty

Act as a central point of community

Instill community pride

Encourge future investment in community

K. Siniscarco, DMGT 740

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No community

Increase in

Section 8 - no application or review process for residency

High turnover

“Vacant” Unattended Lot

Parking Lot

Building Occupied

Low Income Housing

No development of green space

1

Ou gat s

Co g

Romana Riley School Building and Grounds

THEME E // EMPOWERING PLA

RESIDENTIAL SCENA

Building Early Developments

22 | Empowering Place, Romana Riley School


K. Siniscarco, DMGT 740 | 23

No community presence on property

Earl Long-term Implications

End up in same situation in the future

Property neglect or abandonment by owners

High turnover in residents

Increase in crime and drug activity

W G


Outdoor gathering space

Community garden

unds

Build relationship with community

Application process &

40 units, 1-2 bed - elderly - families - children

Resident manager on site

Building Occupied

Affordable Housing

Temporary (or long-term) use of green space

2

ARIOS

PLACE

24 | Empowering Place, Romana Riley School

Increase diversity

Increase parking, decrease green space

Landmark Status

Exterior historic preservation

Land Sta

Hist preser

attrib the c certai for th leadi


g

K. Siniscarco, DMGT 740 | 25

WABA Guild

Gentrification

community assets

Residents with skills & income

WABA member

Resident manager on site

Investment in community leads to future investments

Activity on property

Application process & background check for residents

“It’s Amazing” development

Slowing traffic

Improve safety

Walking traffic


Landmark Status

ark us

ase sity

ase ng, ase pace

Historic preservation

Multi units for creatives - group work space

Shared community space

Community green space

Live/Work Space

Building Occupied

3

development options. As you move through each scenario from top to bottom, the cause and effect of each action or attribute is revealed. Each scenario offers opportunities for the community to intervene and prevent the events of a certain path occuring. The scenarios also offer opportunities for the community to support, steward and encourage events leading to a positive outcome.

rior ric ation

26 | Empowering Place, Romana Riley School

Mentoring programs

Performance/ meeting space

AWOL

WABA

Outdoor event space

Community garden

Opportunity for encouragement

Opportunity for intervention


azing� ment

ing fic

ove ty

ing fic

K. Siniscarco, DMGT 740 | 27

Gentrification

Future investments in the community

Symbol of community

Improve safety

Youth & elder programs

Creative skill development

Opportunity for encouragement

Opportunity for intervention

(diversity in activity)

Central point of activity on Waters

Community outreach & workshops

Mentoring programs

meeting space


28 | Empowering Place, Romana Riley School

4

Community

Walkable, fresh, healthy food

Farmers’

Harambee Farms extension

Activity on property - community gathering space

Immediate development of community garden

Green Space

perf

Romana Riley School Building and Gr


K. Siniscarco, DMGT 740 | 29

Starfish Cafe

Festivals/ craft fairs

Cook-offs

ECC/ WW Law Center

Meal prep/ cooking classes

Planting/ harvesting

Community Events

Food assistance program

Local Cafe (organic food)

Farmers’ Market

(histori

De pr

Benefits


on ty nity space

mbee ms sion

AWOL office

Community members

WABA

headquarters

Skate park

BlockLab

Meeting space for community organizations

Community communication & collaboration

Visual & performing arts space

Community Space

uilding and Grounds 30 | Empowering Place, Romana Riley School

C


Cook-offs

aw r

ep/ lasses

/

nity s

K. Siniscarco, DMGT 740 | 31

Grant opportunities

Skate park designed by local kids

“c ski

(historic landmark)

Develop property

Fill community needs

Increase publi safety

Benefits and trajectory for all parts of multi-use scenario.

Property developed in phases

Community members develop spaces based on needs


s

Skate park

BlockLab

ace nity ons

32 | Empowering Place, Romana Riley School

Technical

Creative Coast

Vocational skills

Professional “soft” skills training

“Needs assessment” of community

Vocational Training

T Sav

C tr in

invited to add ideas and partnershi

To continue to build this scenario

different locations along Waters Av


y

Increase public safety

Decrease crime & poverty

Act as a central point of community

Vocational skills training

Community members servicing community

Technical “computer� skills training

f multi-use scenario.

Grant opportunities

Skate park designed by local kids

K. Siniscarco, DMGT 740 | 33

Har Gar


skills

opportunities

WABA

Thinc Savannah

Small business mentor program (WABA)

Feed talents

Creative business presence

Community training & internships

Business Incubator

ed to add ideas and partnership opportunities to the paths.

ontinue to build this scenario, community members are

rent locations along Waters Ave or in the City of Savannah. 34 | Empowering Place, Romana Riley School


Act as a central point of community

skills

K. Siniscarco, DMGT 740 | 35

Feed talents back into community

Encourge future investment in community

Space to make & sell local goods

Instill community pride

Harambee Garments

WABA Guild


Property developed in phases

Community members servicing community

Grant opportunities

Benefits and trajectory for all parts of multi-use scenario. Develop property

(historic landmark)

36 | Empowering Place, Romana Riley School

Fill community needs

Increase public safety

Decrease crime & poverty

cen co


ty s g ty

ime y

Space to make & sell local goods

Act as a central point of community

Instill community pride

Encourge future investment in community

K. Siniscarco, DMGT 740

| 37


SPIDER DIAGRAMS A spider diagram (or radar chart) is a graphical method of displaying multivariate data represented on axes starting from the same point. The center point represents the lowest value and increases moving outward in the circle. The charts to the right are spider diagrams based on the residential and multi-use scenarios. The radii each represent a Do-ference theme. The more area the shape covers, the larger overlap, impact or implication the scenario has on each theme. The lighter green shade, represents opportunity based on the residential path chosen. Each theme can also be mapped to the 6 initiatives set forth by the City of Savannah for the Waters Ave revitalization efforts. The initiatives and relationship to Do-ference themes is mapped out below. The thickness of the line, relates to the strength of the connection.

City of Savannah Initiatives Civic Engagement and Capacity Building Beautification and Blight Removal Vacant Property Neighborhood Business Vitality Financial Tools for Community Economic Development Public Safety

38 | Empowering Place, Romana Riley School

Do-ference Themes Empowering Community Empowering Business Empowering Youth Empowering Culture Empowering Place Empowering Renewal


A - Empowering Community B - Empowering Business C - Empowering Youth D - Empowering Culture E - Empowering Place F - Empowering Renewal

RESIDENTIAL SCENARIOS E

MULTI-USE SCENARIO

A - Empowering Community B - Empowering Business C - Empowering Youth D - Empowering Culture E - Empowering Place F - Empowering Renewal

E

D

F

D

F

C

A

C

A

Residential Scenario

B

Mixed-Use Scenario

B

A - Empowering Community B - Empowering Business C - Empowering Youth D - Empowering Culture E - Empowering Place F - Empowering Renewal K. Siniscarco, DMGT 740

| 39


NEWSPAPER Romana Riley Community Garden holds planting event 4A

WABA FRIDAY

GUILD MAY31

OPEN HOUSE

WATERS AVENUE

Savannah Morning News. WATERS AVENUE REVITALIZATION ANNIVERSARY ISSUE SAVANNAHNOW.COM

LIGHT OF THE COASTAL EMPIRE

$1.00

WEDNESDAY, MAY 29, 2024

Why I Love Waters Ave

Romana Riley Apartments Celebrates 10 Years

I’ve lived in the Waters Ave corridor for most of my life. I grew up here. My husband and I created a home here. We raised our son here. I’ve seen many changes, both good BY and bad. ROSEMARY People and BANKS businesses have come and gone. And there have been many efforts to make a positive difference in the community. It’s hard to believe that not too long ago this area was riddled with abandoned properties, crime, poverty and a host of other concerns. Waters Ave today reminds me of the neighborhood of my youth—children playing outside, families walking down the streets, thriving local businesses and a buzz of diverse activity. But with all of this change, one thing has remained the same, and that is the heart of this community which continues to beat strong into the future.

A local children playing a game as part of the 10th anniversary celebration of the apartments.

BY AMY SARAH DREW Twelve years ago, Garrison Properties from Kansas City purchased a 1.2-acre abandoned property on Waters Ave. In 2014, a 40-unit affordable housing complex opened it’s doors on the former Romana Riley School building and grounds. The community was initially skeptical of the

housing development, unsure of the implications or the effect on the community. However, over the past 10 years, the Romana Riley Apartments has become a beacon of positive, diverse activity and a cornerstone of the community. The complex’s resident manager, Mr. Elliot Moore, is an active member of WABA and the Live Oak Neighborhood Associa-

tion. Due to Mr. Moor’s partnerships, the residents of Romana Riley have been welcomed into the community with open arms. They work in and patronize local businesses, are active members of neighborhood organizations and have helped return Waters Ave to the culturally rich, safe, hopeful, family friendly community that it once was. » Story continued on 2A

Amazing New Plan for “It’s Amazing” Property BY HEZEKIAH HUDSON

The people of the City of Savannah have had a long-standing love-hate relationship with the “It’s Amazing” strip mall on Waters Ave between 36th & 37th streets. The community is frustrated by the lack of development of the property but hopefully about it’s pos-

sibilities. Many potential investors have shown interest in the building over the past several years, but none had made a purchasing bid. But all that has recently changed. Mr. Charles Jones, a local Savannah businessman and real estate developer has purchased “It’s Amazing” from the City of Savannah. Mr. Jones has been a

strong supporter of the revitalization efforts in Savannah and has been looking for an investment opportunity. Mr. Jones has plans to divide the property into multiple spaces for varying community uses. Mr. Jones hopes to partner with local businesses and organizations to provide meeting and business spaces for different groups and individu-

als in the Waters Ave area. The complex could include arts and performance spaces, meeting rooms, a computer lab, retail space, green areas and even a skate park. Mr. Jones will be holding a meeting to share his development plans and business model and to invite community members to become part of the planning process.

INSIDE

Accidents Down 25% A new study has shown that traffic accidents at the intersections of Waters Ave and E. Henry and E. Anderson streets have dropped 25% over the past 10 years. Experts attribute the reduction to several factors including an increase in walking and biking traffic in the area and more activity on the local properties.

» Riley Gets Landmark Status The Romana Riley building has been declared a National Historic Landmark thanks to the collaborative efforts of a group of residents of the Waters Ave and two graduate students in the Historic Preservation department of SCAD.

» Waters Ave Diversity The Waters Avenue corridor between Victory Dr. and Wheaton St. has historically been an African American neighborhood and recently an area of focused revitalization efforts. However, new census data has highlighted the area as the most ethnically and economically diverse section of the City of Savannah. 175TH YEAR, ISSUE 135

Waters Avenue Then and Now Essay Contest The Waters Avenue corridor has experienced some major changes over the past 10 years and we want to hear about it from you. Send us your thoughts, ideas, memories and visions for the future of Waters Ave. Top finalist will have their essays featured on the website and winners will be voted on by the public.

Go to http://savannahnow.com/watersessaycontest for contest guidelines and submissions!

40 | Empowering Place, Romana Riley School

Savannah Morning News

Often, scenarios include a visual narrative component as a way to connect with the audience and make the projected path and stories more “real.” For this project, a mock newspaper was written with articles detailing different aspects and implications of a scenario. Due to a pending contract on the Romana Riley building, it was determined that the “Affordable Housing” scenario is the most likely development path for the property. The newspaper, dated May 29, 2024, is an special addition highlighting the Waters Ave revitalization efforts. The feature article reports on the 10th anniversary of the opening of Romana Riley apartments and ensuing celebration. The supplemental articles and advertisements focus on the affect of the housing complex on the community.

IDAY WABA FRAY M WDABA F31 GUIL RIDAY

y Romana Rile Romana Riley ity CommunCo mmunity s Garden hold Garden holds event plantingpla nting event 4A 4A

RS UILWA OPEGN DTE MUE AY31 EN AV O E HOUSPEN WATERS

HOUSE AVEN UE

S g News. nhah oronrin MM a SavaaWvATnaERnn n i ng ISSUE S NUE AVENREV UE RE ITALIZATION ANNIVERSARY News. $1.00

$1.00

WATERS AVE

VITALIZATION

WEDNESDAY, MAY 29, SAVANNAHNOW.COM WEDNESDAY, MAY 29, 2024 2024 SAVANN

Why I Love s eAve y atIerLov WhW I’ve lived in the Ave Waters Ave Wat corrers idor for most of my

ANNIVERSARALYEMPIRE ISSUE LIGHT OF THE COAST

AHNOW.COM

LIGHT OF THE COA STAL EMPIRE

E tments INSID Rm om Accidents a Rley anaanRi Ro ileAp y Aar partments DowINSnIDE25% Cleb eleb Accidents tes rara tes10 Ce 10YeYar easrs

life. I grew up here Ave and . My husb I’ve lived in the Waters A new study has shown my life. I crecorridor for most ofand that traffic accidents at the d husban a hom I grew up here. Myated e intersections of Waters I . cre-We andhere and E. Henry and E. Ave a home raise ated d our have n streets A new Anderso study has show son hereWe here. . I’ve over the past n 25% that traffi dropped c accid ents at the our seen man raised y inter years. 10 sectiExperts ons ofattribute Wate c hhere. son a n gI’ve es, several to n Ave reductio the and E. Henry fac- rs BY and E. both many seen good an increase Ande including tors rson stree s, ts have ROSEMARY cand h a n g ebad. and biking traffic walking indrop ped 25% over theactivPeople good both BANKS and and more past area year in10the s. Expe BY rts attribute band u s i n e sbad. ses properties. local theon the have redu ity ction com ARY to several face and People ROSEM and gone. And tors including there have been an increase s e s s BANKS e n i s u in walking and forts to make b many efbikin And a g traffic gone. tive difhavece come andposi in the area and feren in more activcommany munity.efhavethebeen there ity on the local It’s hard properties. to belie difa positive ve that make notforts tootolong ago nity. this in the commu wasference riddled with aban areathat doned It’s hard to believe propertie s, crime,agopove thisrtyarea too long celebration of the apartments. A local children andnot a host of othe as part of the 10th anniversary playing a gam ned a game r conc abando with erns e as part of the riddled A local children playing was . Waters Ave The Romana Riley building 10th anniversary poverty y reminds celebration ofDue ies,todacrime, propert to Mr. Moor’s partnerme of the apar the neighborhooconcerns. BY AMY SARAH DRE has been declared a National ment, un- tion. tments.of Romana develop housing other W of d host a ts to of my and housing deve youth—children BY AMY SARAH DREW Historic Landmark thanks tions or ships, the residen implica s the lopm remind of into sure today ent, ed Ave play a Waters un- tion. Riley been welcom ing outs sure of the Twelve years Due tohave ide, families walkrhood the collaborative efforts of community. theions Mr. Moor’s on licat ago, Garriso the effect imp n effec open part of the neighbo ing ofPropertie Garriso nity with n the or ship ner-arms. Thegroup down me s of the Wacommu years ago, of resident 10 s,the Rom Twelve the streets, past s the t ana the from on resid over the playr, Riley ents Kan Howeve community. thriving build graduate ze localhas of patroni Romana City CityHowever my youth—children in and purchase local busi fromsasKansas Riley have and two ing They work been Ave red Propert d a ies1.2ters decla nesses and Riley Apart, the overRoman been welcome walking a National Presacre aban- aban- years, the apast a buzz , families membersHistoric d into 10 the ses, are active doned purchas of diveing Historic years, the Rom a 1.2-acre the busines in ed of com rse outside Land prop students beacon mun a activity. streets, mark erty ity with openorganiz anabecome has thanks ofto SCAD. on y Wat Riley Apartdown the But withthriving rhood arms. ationsthe colla onersWaters Ave. Indoned all of this ent men ments They of kneighbo a wor has beco, me and 2014, apropert borativedepartm ervation change, one in and patroniz return 40-unit afford- afford- ts positive diverse activity efforts of a andg a buzz businesses thin on of nity. group of resid able Ave. has remlocal have helpede local Wapositive, diverse a beac 2014, a 40-unit ained the singIncom es, are commu businessand ents of the Watheand of ity activ But with hou active mem plex opened cornerstone e, and activity. cultural of diverse sam bersly rich, ters Ave and it’s that is the cornersto complex opened Ave to the of neighbo tersrhoo rs onhousing tamanagne comple heart of change, of the x’s the former Rotwo graduate thing dooable d orga comresiden The friendly mun niza Roof this this comone family , ity. tion former stud man munity all hopeful The the s and on ents safe, a complex’s resid Rile which continue it’s ydoors in the Historic is an active have helped retu School building Moore, Elliotent same, and Presmanag- ters s to once was. g er, Mr. remained the thatrn itWaervation departme and groumana beat strohas er, Mr. Riley School buildin Elliot Moo ng into nds. The and the LiveAvecommu to the nity nt of SCAD. r of re,WABA culturally communcommu is an activ futuofre.this comheart nityber membe continu that is thethe rich,ed on 2A e Associa was initiand s. The ity mem safe, - hopeful, » Story ally ground of WANeighb skeptical to BA andorhood family friendly Oak the Live com of the l of munity which continues Oakthe Neig munity that was initially skeptica hborhood Asso future. corridor the it Avenue into once Waters strong The ciabeat was. » Story continue d on 2A between Victory Dr. and Wheaan ton St. has historically been BY HEZEKIAH HUD African American neighborhood SON sibilities. Man the Waters Ave area. The The Wateand an area of focused recently rs Aven y potential iner of the revital- als in support ue and strong corri arts inl dor include vestors have The people of strong supporte x could between Victo s. Many potentia tion efforts. However, sibilitie revitaliza show ry Dr. and the City in Savannah and comple N r ofefforts n inteshown the revi IAHofHUDSO ization Whea- highlighted Sa- in rest izati interest tal- alsinvestvannah haveBY HEZEK ance spaces, meeting ton St. has histo the building perform on efforts in Savalooking data has vestors census had a long-stan newricall for an in the Wat overhave ers Ave area. er lab, retail y been an ethnically the over has past has been nnah and d- several year the the been ing love-hate The a comput African American com buildingpast rooms, plex as the most has coul in area look Jones s, the relations SaMr. of but ing nity. d City neig inclu for the non opportu hip of a hborhood diverse secan de artsareas e had evenrece invest- perf had ment the “It’s Ama The people with made a purc and and and but none ment opp green years, space, ically orm into several ntly y econom ortu ance and zing” strip hasi an ndpropert nity. the area ng long-sta spac a divide Mr. to of focused bid. But es, be Jones has room willaliza mall all that vannah have had bid. But plans h. on Waters Ave tingJones revit Mr. park.mee skate has made s, a com tion effor tion of the City of Savanna recent a purchasing plans to divide the bet aces for varying comp onship with

Down 25%

» Riley Gets Landmark » Stat Riley usGets Landmark Status

» Waters Ave Diversity » Waters Ave Amazing New Diversity perty PlanPla fon r “I for t’s“It’s Amazing” Pro

Amazing New

Amazing” Pro p

erty


ARTICLES Romana Riley Apartments Celebrates 10 Years Twelve years ago, Garrison Properties from Kansas City purchased a 1.2-acre abandoned property on Waters Ave. In 2014, a 40-unit affordable housing complex opened it’s doors on the former Romana Riley School building and grounds. The community was initially skeptical of the housing development, unsure of the implications or the effect on the community. However, over the past 10 years, the Romana Riley Apartments has become a beacon of positive, diverse activity and a cornerstone of the community. The complex’s resident manager, Mr. Elliot Moore, is an active member of WABA and the Live Oak Neighborhood Association. Due to Mr. Moor’s partnerships, the residents of Romana Riley have been welcomed into the community with open arms. They work in and patronize local businesses, are active members of neighborhood organizations and have helped return Waters Ave to the culturally rich, safe, hopeful, family friendly community that it once was.

Amazing New Plan for “It’s Amazing” Why I Love Waters Ave Property The people of the City of Savannah have had a long-standing love-hate relationship with the “It’s Amazing” strip mall on Waters Ave between 36th & 37th streets. The community is frustrated by the lack of development of the property but hopefully about it’s possibilities. Many potential investors have shown interest in the building over the past several years, but none had made a purchasing bid. But all that has recently changed. Mr. Charles Jones, a local Savannah businessman and real estate developer has purchased “It’s Amazing” from the City of Savannah. Mr. Jones has been a strong supporter of the revitalization efforts in Savannah and has been looking for an investment opportunity. Mr. Jones has plans to divide the property into multiple spaces for varying community uses. Mr. Jones hopes to partner with local businesses and organizations to provide meeting and business spaces for different groups and individuals in the Waters Ave area. The complex could include arts and performance spaces, meeting rooms, a computer lab, retail space, green areas and even a skate park. Mr. Jones will be holding a meeting to share his development plans and business model and to invite community members to become part of the planning process.

I’ve lived in the Waters Ave corridor for most of my life. I grew up here. My husband and I created a home here. We raised our son here. I’ve seen many changes, both good and bad. People and businesses have come and gone. And there have been many efforts to make a positive difference in the community. It’s hard to believe that not too long ago this area was riddled with abandoned properties, crime, poverty and a host of other concerns. Waters Ave today reminds me of the neighborhood of my youth—children playing outside, families walking down the streets, thriving local businesses and a buzz of diverse activity. But with all of this change, one thing has remained the same, and that is the heart of this community which continues to beat strong into the future.

K. Siniscarco, DMGT 740

| 41


there have been many efforts to make a positive difference in the community. It’s hard to believe that not too long ago this area was riddled with abandoned A local children playing a game as part of the 10th anniversary celebration of the apartments. properties, Accidentscrime, Downpoverty 25% Riley Gets Landmark Status Waters Ave Diversity and a host of other concerns. The Romana Riley building housing development, un- tion. Due to Mr. Moor’s partnerBY AMY SARAH DREW Waters Ave today reminds A new study has shown that traffic accidents at The Romana Riley building has been declared a The Waters Avenue corridor between Victory Dr. has been declared a National sure of the implications or ships, the residents of Romana me of the neighborhood of the intersections of Waters Ave and E. Henry National Historic Landmark to the collaborand Wheaton has historically been an African Historic Landmark thanks to the effect on thethanks community. Riley have been welcomedSt. into Twelve yearsand ago, Garrison my youth—children playthe collaborative efforts of a E. Anderson streets have dropped 25% over the ative efforts of a group of residents of the Waters American neighborhood and recently an area of However, over the past 10 the community with open arms. Properties from Kansas City ing outside, families walking group of residents of the Wapast 10the years. Experts attribute the reduction and two graduate students in Apartthe Historic revitalization years, the Romana Riley They work infocused and patronize local efforts. However, new census purchased a to 1.2-acreAveabandown streets, thriving ters Ave and two graduate has become a beacon of businesses, data are active members the area as the most ethniseveral factors including an increase department of SCAD. has highlighted donedin walking property on Preservation Waters ments local businesses and a buzz students section in the Historic Prespositive, diverse activity and a of neighborhood organizations Ave. In 2014, a 40-unit affordand bikingactivity. traffic inBut thewith area and more activity on cally and economically diverse of the City of diverse ervation department of SCAD. cornerstone of the community. and have helped return Waable housing complex opened all thisproperties. change, one thing theoflocal of Savannah. it’s doors on the former Ro- The complex’s resident manag- ters Ave to the culturally rich, has remained the same, and mana Riley School building er, Mr. Elliot Moore, is an active safe, hopeful, family friendly that is the heart of this comand grounds. The community member of WABA and the Live community that it once was. munity which continues to » Story continued on 2A was initially skeptical of the Oak Neighborhood Associabeat strong into the future.

» Riley Gets Landmark Status

ARTICLES

» Waters Ave Diversity

Amazing New Plan for “It’s Amazing” Property BY HEZEKIAH HUDSON

The people of the City of Savannah have had a long-standing love-hate relationship with the “It’s Amazing” strip mall on Waters Ave between 36th & 37th streets. The community is frustrated by the lack of development of the property but hopefully about it’s pos-

sibilities. Many potential investors have shown interest in the building over the past several years, but none had made a purchasing bid. But all that has recently changed. Mr. Charles Jones, a local Savannah businessman and real estate developer has purchased “It’s Amazing” from the City of Savannah. Mr. Jones has been a

strong supporter of the revitalization efforts in Savannah and has been looking for an investment opportunity. Jones has Romana Mr. Riley plans to divide the property into Community multiple spaces for varying community uses. Mr. Jones hopes to Garden holds partner with local businesses planting event and organizations to provide meeting and business spaces 4A for different groups and individu-

als in the Waters Ave area. The complex could include arts and performance spaces, meeting rooms, a computer lab, retail space, green areas and even a skate park. Mr. Jones will be holding a meeting to share his development plans and business model and to invite community members to become part of the planning process.

The Waters Avenue corridor between Victory Dr. and Wheaton St. has historically been an African American neighborhood and recently an area of focused revitalization efforts. However, new census data has highlighted the area as the most ethnically and economically diverse section of the City of Savannah.

WABA FRIDAY

GUILD MAY31

OPEN

WATERS HOUSE AVENUE

175TH YEAR, ISSUE 135

Waters Savannah Avenue Then andMorning Now Essay Contest News. The Waters Avenue corridor has experienced some major changes over the past 10 years and we want to hear about it from you. Send us your thoughts, ideas, memories and visions for the future of Waters Ave. Top finalist will have their essays featured on the website and winners will be voted on by the public.

WATERS AVENUE REVITALIZATION ANNIVERSARY ISSUE

LIGHT OF THE COASTAL EMPIRE $1.00 WEDNESDAY, MAY 29,for 2024contest SAVANNAHNOW.COM Go to http://savannahnow.com/watersessaycontest guidelines and submissions! 42 | Empowering Place, Romana Riley School

Why I Love

INSIDE

Savannah Morning News


NEXT STEPS There are three main directives for moving forward on the progress made during and since the Do-ference. Those directives are: • Community engagement • Identify opportunities to scenario process (Vacant properties, development initiatives) • Identify leaders/stewards of planning process The community needs to be exposed to the existing scenarios and process for developing future scenarios. Community dialog around using scenario planning should be encouraged and facilitated. The community can brainstorm and prioritize around opportunities to use the scenario process on properties or initiatives on the Waters Ave corridor. The Waters Ave community (and City of Savannah) should identify leaders and potential partnership opportunities in the community to steward and facilitate the scenario planning process.

Vacant properties on Waters Ave K. Siniscarco, DMGT 740

| 43


EMPOWERING PLACE

Romana Riley School Building and Grounds DMGT 740: Sustainable Practices in Design Professor Scott Boylston Spring 2012 Krista Siniscarco Design Management, MFA candidate ‘12


Empowering Place  

Process book from Design Ethos 2012 Do-ference documenting the work down with the Romana Riley School building and grounds in Savannah, GA.

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