May 28, 2009
By Michelle Paynter
SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) – A very important day in West Savannah. It’s a tight knit community that goes back many generations. Thursday, many of those folks came to witness a ribbon cutting for new affordable housing.
It’s called Sustainable Fellwood. It’s the site of the old Fellwood Homes public housing on South Carolan Street, just off West Bay Street.
The ribbon cutting was a very special event to so many people, a reunion of sorts for folks who grew up in Fellwood Homes.
Pauline Whipple moved to Fellwood in the 1950s. Thursday, she and the friends she grew up with reminisced about the old days.
“Fellwood back then, in those days, was the greatest project you could live in,” Whipple said.
And they were all excited to see the new Sustainable Fellwood.
“It’s just a new birth,” she said. “It’s great to see a place I came up in looking like this now. I can just imagine when you finish it what’s it’s going to look like then.”
Sustainable Fellwood offers low and affordable housing. All the homes are energy efficient and this the first all green neighborhood in the country. There’s 110 houses in phase one and leaders also broke ground on another 110 homes today.
Savannah city councilman Van Johnson and the crowd of folks may have summed it up best. “It’s a great day in West Savannah,” they said in unison. “And because of Sustainable Fellwood, it’s also a green day in West Savannah.”
The head of this project, Earline Davis, also knew how important it was to revitalize this area and do it right. “Having grown up in this community to see what’s coming back and the enthusiasm of all the people who are here, former residents who came from out of town to be apart of this, it’s just wonderful,” Davis said.
It’s hard now for many to believe this land was once an eyesore. Just five years ago, the public housing units that were here were in shambles and often crime ridden.
“I would never have thought that I could see the old Fellwood looking so refreshed as this place here is looking today and I say thanks be to God we can have a place to come back to and still call Fellwood Homes,” Whipple said.
Bringing a bit of pride back to this part of town.
In the past 10 days, nine families have already moved in.