Southern Hospitality
Global Traveler|April - May 2021
Plant Riverside District redefines Savannah’s riverfront.
JAN SCHRODER

Millions of visitors a year navigate the uneven, hand-laid cobblestones along River Street in Savannah, visiting the dozens of shops, restaurants, hotels and attractions housed in the former cotton warehouses lining the Savannah River.

Last year the riverfront of Georgia’s oldest city transformed with the opening of the $375 million Plant Riverside District, which extended the riverfront by 1,100 feet and developed a once-seedy part of the city into a popular mixed-use development housed in a former 1912 power plant.

Hospitality brand The Kessler Collection, founded by the Kessler family, whose roots in Savannah date back to the 1730s when the city was founded, developed the district.

“We love Savannah, and we saw in this site the opportunity to create something Savannah didn’t have and what it needed,” said Mark Kessler, president, COO and son of founder Richard Kessler. “The location on the river was ideal and had so much potential.”

After purchasing the property in 2012, the company solicited input from and brainstormed with members of the community for ideas about what to develop. “Our vision was to create a family-friendly entertainment district and redefine what the riverfront is. It was like nothing we had done before, and we wanted it to be a legacy for our company.”

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