Steelwood was hired by Benedictine Military School in the fall of 2008 to provide a development plan for their 91 acre property in Savannah, Georgia. The goal was to use their excess land surrounding the campus to further endow the school.
While discussing the property and how it could best meet the school’s financial goals, it became clear to us that prior to creating a development plan, we, along with the school needed to gain a better understanding of their goals and land requirements.
We began our property development research with an extensive interview process where we spoke to a cross section of members of the school, board, significant financial contributors and members of the community. These conversations helped us understand the primary needs and issues that would need to be addressed in both the campus master plan and the development plan in order to achieve a consensus for the future. Simultaneously with the interviews, we began our site analysis and due diligence of the property. This included meetings with the planning commission staff, creation of base maps, environmental and utility review, demographic studies and easement negotiations with the city.
From this research, we began we began the property development strategies phase where we developed numerous school master plan concepts depicting various enrollment levels and school structures. From these studies, it became clear what land was necessary to preserve for future school growth and what land was available for office, retail or residential development.
Steelwood also created the Brand strategy for the new development, named Benedictine Commons, by creating the logo and all marketing materials including the website design, www.benedictinecommons.com.
The school board of directors has approved two final development plan options that allow for maximum flexibility dependent upon the type of end user. The Saint Vincent Archabbey of LaTrobe, PA, the owners of the property which the school sits on, have voted and approved the board’s recommendation. We are currently in discussion with several possible land users, including senior living facilities and office users, regarding their interest in being a part of the project. Steelwood will act as the owner’s representative for all brokerage transactions and be the lead on all new developments that occur on the property.