Advocacy Alerts

Optimistic for a new partnership at Union Pier

preservation-admin , October 13, 2023

On Wednesday, the Stakeholder Advisory Committee serving to guide the new redevelopment effort, recommended a collaborative team of urban designers to take the project into its most important phase yet.

The committee of 14 resident, nonprofit and business community representatives unanimously voted to recommend Boston-based Sasaki as lead planning firm. PSC is excited about the prospect of a design partnership between Sasaki, NBW Landscape Architects and James Lima Planning + Development, to add to the team of experts that will bring their focus to the Union Pier project.

  • It was Sasaki that helped create one of the most significant modern public spaces downtown, Joe Riley Waterfront Park. Union Pier presents an unparalleled chance to extend that legacy project into an even more transformative public space and mixed-use district.
  • Thomas Woltz and his team at NBW Landscape Architects bring deep reverence and long-range perspective for how cultural landscapes have affected life in the Lowcountry over centuries, with ambitious projects underway now at the Angel Oak, Middleton Place, and in Savannah’s Forsyth Park.
  • Economic advisor James Lima Planning + Development is a champion for creative financing to help ensure public spaces are successful, vibrant, and add to a city’s sense of place. You may remember firm principal James Lima providing valuable insight on the Union Pier project as a panelist at our 2023 Winter Membership Meeting.

The next step is to negotiate a scope of work to ensure the Union Pier team, its community engagement process, and the overall design are diverse, resident-focused, and values-based. It took us working together as a community to stand up and insist that the initial proposal for Union Pier missed the mark.

We know we would not have reached this major milestone this week without these valuable community partnerships. It would not have been possible without you.

A detailed scope will be developed soon, and we’re hopeful the State Ports Authority and the Riley Center will act quickly to harness this collaborative energy and put this team to work.

Thanks for all your help so far.

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