Holley & Pearson-Farrer LLP served as disclosure counsel to the City of Savannah, Georgia and the Downtown Savannah Authority, an instrumentality and public corporation of the State of Georgia, in connection with a $45 million taxable bond issuance. The issuance was part of a public-private arrangement to provide for the financing of a new arena in the Canal District development area on the western side of downtown Savannah. The project broke ground in 2019.

The new arena, named Enmarket Arena, opened in 2022 and replaced Savannah’s older civic center. Enmarket Arena is a multipurpose complex with a 9,500-seat arena including 12 luxury suites, five lodge boxes, and a party suite. Enmarket Arena is home to the new minor league hockey team, the Savannah Ghost Pirates.

Enmarket Arena is the centerpiece of the planned transformation of the Canal District in historic downtown Savannah into a booming entertainment hub with shopping, dining, hotels, walking trails, and outdoor recreational fields. The arena is anticipated to better meet the requirements of touring shows, attract more shows with a larger variety of entertainment genres, and bring about an increase of hockey and other sporting events, in addition to encouraging capital investment, increasing the tax base, improving job opportunities, and increasing tourism within Savannah and southern Georgia.

Our attorneys have had the opportunity to support the redevelopment and revitalization of downtown Savannah through multiple creative and interesting bond-financed projects, including the financing of Enmarket Arena, the new Chatham County judicial complex, extensions of the Savannah riverfront and riverwalk, streetscape improvements and new pedestrian access points for the riverwalk and River Street, multiple parking garage projects, and improvements to the Veterans Parkway freeway connecting greater Chatham County to downtown Savannah.

The Enmarket Arena project was approved pursuant to a City of Savannah 1% special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST) referendum. The City of Savannah agreed to make payments on the bonds pursuant to an Intergovernmental Contract with the Downtown Savannah Authority and covenanted to exercise its power of taxation to the extent necessary to pay those amounts.

H|PF Role
  • Financed a multipurpose complex with a 9,500-seat arena anchoring revitalized historic downtown Savannah, Georgia
  • 1% SPLOST-supported bonds
$45.1 million
City of Savannah / Downtown Savannah Authority
Closing Date
December 2019
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