Obama: Fast track harbor deepening | savannahnow.com

Obama: Fast track harbor deepening | savannahnow.com.

The planned Expansion of the Savannah Harbor got a major shot in the arm late Wednesday when the Obama Administration announced it would expedite the project, with all federal reviews completed and a Record of Decision coming no later than November.

As part of his “We Can’t Wait” initiative, the president listed seven “nationally and regionally significant infrastructure projects” at five major ports, promising to put each on a fast track designed to save time and drive better outcomes for local communities.

The initiative is part of a Presidential Executive Order issued in March charging the Office of Management and Budget with overseeing a government-wide effort to make the permitting and review process for infrastructure projects more efficient and effective.

“President Obama is committed to improving federal permitting and reviews to ensure that smart infrastructure projects like the Port of Savannah can move as quickly as possible through the decision making process, boosting job growth and strengthening the economy,” Jeffrey Zients, acting director of the Office of Management and Budget, said Wednesday.

“By working more efficiently in a coordinated fashion across the federal government and putting in place aggressive schedules and accountability systems, we are committing to accelerate the final steps of this review for the Port of Savannah project.”

Savannah-area labor picture brightens in first quarter | savannahnow.com

Savannah-area labor picture brightens in first quarter | savannahnow.com.

NAI’s Chief Economist Summer Review

The following post is an excerpt from the Summer 2012 issue of The Linneman Letter:

Every executive with whom we speak expresses utter confusion about the state of the global and U.S. economy and capital markets. As a result, they are in a muddle about their investment strategies. They closely monitor economic and capital market data for signs that “everything is all right,” yet even as the U.S. economy grows at a seemingly healthy rate, they remain extraordinarily ill at ease. Why?

Simply stated, this discomfort reflects the fact that even though U.S. real GDP and employment are growing at moderately healthy paces, we remain in totally uncharted waters in terms of both the economy and our capital markets. And when private decision makers are in unfamiliar (and unrecognizable) landscapes, they act very cautiously. For example, we have not seen in our lifetime federal budget deficits as large as those which

currently exist. Not only is U.S. federal spending as a percent of GDP at a peace-time high, but federal revenues as a percent of GDP are well below their historic norm, resulting in unprecedented budget deficits. Compounding the problem of unprecedented U.S. budget deficits is…..

See the entire post here:


About the author

Dr. Peter Linneman is a Principal of Linneman Associates, KL Realty, and American Land Funds, and is the Albert Sussman Emeritus Professor of Real Estate, Finance, and Business Public Policy at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. He was a member of Wharton’s faculty for 32 years, founding Wharton’s Real Estate Department and the Zell-Lurie Real Estate Center. He is the founding co-editor of The Wharton Real Estate Review and has published over 80 articles during his career. Dr. Linneman is widely recognized as a leading strategic thinker and investor, and has been cited as one of the 25 Most Influential People in Real Estate by Realtor Magazine, and one of the 100 Most Powerful People in New York Real Estate by the New York Observer.

About NAI Savannah:

NAI Savannah is a full service commercial real estate brokerage & property management company in Savannah, Georgia. Our Broker’s have over 30 years of experience in industrial warehouse (both Port related distribution and manufacturing), office, retail & investment sales & leasing.

Good news for Savannah Port & Industrial Real Estate

The Panama Canal is due to finish is widening in 2014 but recent strikes & other delays could push this date out. Savannah is hoping to ready for the Panamax ships by 2016.

The full GPA press release on additional government funding is below:

Presidential Budget Gives Additional Boost to Savannah

Final Approval is Expected in Coming Months

Savannah, Ga. – February 13, 2012 – The President’s fiscal year 2013
Civil Works budget released today included $2.8 million for the Savannah Harbor
Expansion Project (SHEP).

“The funding announced today, along with more than $180 million in state funds
that have either been committed or budgeted, will allow this project to stay on
track,” said Georgia Governor Nathan Deal. “We plan to work closely with the
Army Corps of Engineers to ensure this project is approved and the necessary
funds are in place to begin construction in the coming months.”

“This is an important step toward completing the SHEP and providing continued
economic rec overy and growth in the Southeastern U.S,” said Curtis Foltz, GPA’s
Executive Director. “The unified leadership shown by our delegation in
Washington, as well as the teamwork between Governor Nathan Deal and Atlanta
Mayor Kasim Reed are the major reasons this project has received so much bi-partisan

The completed SHEP study is expected to receive a record of decision later this
year, allowing the Corps to move to construction phase of the harbor deepening
in FY 2013.

“The completion of the SHEP will have long-term positive economic benefits for
Georgia, South Carolina, and a large percentage of the U.S. population served
through the Port of Savannah,” said Alec Poitevint, GPA’s Board Chairman. “As
the fourth largest container port in the country, the Port of Savannah serves
approximately 21,000 companies in all 50 states, over 75 percent of which are
headquartered outside of Georgia. This is truly a project of national

According to the Corps, deepening the Savannah Harbor up to 48 feet will bring
more than $115 million in annual economic benefits to the United States,
primarily by lowering transportation costs. The harbor project is necessary to
prepare for a new class of larger container ships that are nearly three times
the capacity of those currently able to transit the Panama Canal. In 2014, the
Panama Canal expansion will be completed and increase the maximum draft of
vessels traveling to and from the U.S. East Coast from 39.5 feet to as much as
50 feet. While the Port of Savannah regularly handles vessels that are too
large to transit the Panama Canal, these vessels cannot load to their capacity.

“The Corps should release the final study documents this spring, clearing the
way for federal approval of the project,” Foltz said. “Once construction
begins, we anticipate the deepening to be completed in 2016.”

The Port of Savannah also fared well on maintenance dredging funds, receiving
$22 million in federal dollars. Similarly, the Port of Brunswick received $3
million for maintenance dredging. The GPA will work with Georgia’s leadership
to request additional maintenance dredging funds for Brunswick.

Georgia’s deepwater ports and inland barge terminals support more than
295,000 jobs throughout the state annually and contribute $15.5 billion in
income, $61.7 billion in revenue and $2.6 billion in state and local taxes to
Georgia’s economy. The Port of Savannah was the second busiest U.S. container
port for the export of American goods by tonnage in FY2011. It also handled 8.7
percent of the U.S. containerized cargo volume and 12.5 percent of all U.S.
containerized exports in FY2011.

For additional information, please contact GPA’s Senior Director of External Affairs Robert Morris at (912) 964-3855 or rmorris@gaports.com.
Visit the GPA web site at

Rex Benton is a Savannah Commercial Real Estate realtor with NAI Savannah, the commercial division of Mopper-Stapen, Realtors and is a contributing columnist for “BiS-Business In Savannah” weekly business publication and is an active blogger. www.naisavannah.com 912-358-5600 Office Space, Retail Space, Industrial Space, Investment Real Estate Sale

NAI Savannah brokers sale of historic office building to SCAD

NAI Savannah arranges SCAD purchase of MLK Boulevard building

Courtesy of Savannahnow.com:

By Adam Van Brimmer

NAI Savannah brokers sale of historic office building to SCAD

The Savannah College of Art and Design recently purchased its sixth property on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, adding the building that’s long housed the college’s media and performing arts school to its portfolio of downtown properties.

SCAD paid $2.6 million for the building commonly known as Crites Hall and located at 217 MLK just south of Oglethorpe Avenue. The college had leased the property since 2000 and has made more than $2 million in improvements, according to Chatham County property records.

The building, built in 1906, is valued at $4.2 million

SCAD’s executive director for design and new construction, Martin Smith, could not be reached for comment.

The college utilizes close to 50 buildings in the Historic District and owns many of those. SCAD has had a Martin Luther King Boulevard presence since the 1980s, and the centerpiece, the SCAD Museum of Art, opened in November. The $26 million project was built from the historic ruins of the Central of Georgia Railroad Depot.

SCAD bought Crites Hall from lender GE Capital, which foreclosed on the property earlier this

year. The building was previously owned by developer Jeff Notrica.

Crites Hall measures 39,000 square feet and includes classrooms, lecture halls, dance studios, a set design shop, offices, conference rooms and a 150-seat theater spread over four floors plus a finished basement.

NAI Savannah was the sole brokerage in the the deal led by agents Rex Benton and Dicky Mopper and represented GE Capital.

Savannah’s Mopper-Stapen, Realtors separates commerical arm, NAI Savannah, and auction services

by  Adan Van Brimmer, Savannahnow.com

Mopper-Stapen Realtors made its name as a residential brokerage, capitalizing on the historic district’s renaissance over the last 31 years.

The firm was founded to serve the commercial sector, however, and has always been a player in the retail, office and industrial markets as well as in housing.

To better market all the services the company offers, Dicky Mopper has broken the firm he and partner Mike Stapen started into three parts: Mopper-Stapen, Realtors on the residential side; NAI Savannah for commercial real estate; and Value Auction Company, which handles both property and estate sales.

“We’ve gotten to the point where we felt like our commercial side wasn’t getting the play it deserves,” Mopper said. “It’s hard to be both a residential and commercial brokerage because if people know you mainly as one thing they question your expertise in the other. So it’s important to differentiate and end the confusion.”

Mopper and Rex Benton head NAI Savannah, with Benton managing the day-to-day operations of the commercial brokerage. Benton is a Savannah native who returned to his hometown four years ago after working 15 years in Atlanta.

Benton helped Mopper affiliate with NAI, an international network of commercial real estate firms with 375-plus offices in 55 countries. Mopper rebranded the firm’s commercial arm as
NAI Savannah in February 2010 with the intention of spinning it off.

The NAI membership gives Mopper, Benton and their five-person team of agents access to NAI’s resources
and contacts.

“Savannah is an international city with the port, and the world has changed with technology,” Benton said. “Before you had pocket listings, where you didn’t need a name that could be recognized beyond your local market behind you. Now everything is global.”


Savannah Economic 3rd Quarter Review & Outlook

Savannah based Armstrong Atlantic University’s Center for Regional Analysis released it’s 2011 3rd Quarter Economic review & outlook.

With 7 straight quarters of growth since the end of the recession, our area has fared well with slow but steady growth. The port, tourism, industrial & manufacturing highlight this growth.  Steady growth is forecasted through the coming year with a pick up in economic activity in the 1st half of 2012. Read the entire report here:

Savannah Economic Outlook

Savannah Economic Update

Rex Benton is a Savannah Commercial Real Estate agent with NAI Savannah, the commercial division of Mopper-Stapen, Realtors and is a contributing columnist for “BiS-Business In Savannah” weekly business publication and is an active blogger. www.naisavannah.com 912-358-5600 Office Space, Retail Space, Industrial Space, Investment Real Estate Sales

2010 Savannah Visitors (11.2 Million) & Spending ($1.7Billion)

Savannah has seen an uptick in tourism & hotel occupancies. A recent study funded by Visit Savannah shows Savannah has steady tourist base year round.  Between 23-28% per quarter, the 11.2 million visitors are relatively evenly dispersed between the four quarters.

Here’s the link to an overview of the survey.


Rex Benton is Savannah Commercial Real Estate agent with NAI Savannah, the commercial division of Mopper-Stapen, Realtors and is a contributing columnist for “BiS-Business In Savannah” weekly business publication and is an active blogger.

www.naisavannah.com 912-358-5600 Office Space, Retail Space, Industrial Space, Investment Real Estate