‘The Starland District is a model of revitalization, located in Savannah, Georgia. Please visit the district and patronize the unique businesses that have chosen to open in this area.”
Today, Starland is a thriving area of Savannah and adjacent to Thomas Square. What was once an old dairy and a less desirable area, is now at the epicenter of the heart of Downtown Savannah. New shops and restaurants seem to pop up almost weekly. There’s a restoration or renovation project at almost every corner. And you’ve got a vibrant mix of residents from SCAD students to young professionals to long term residents and more!
Where The Locals Go
Here are some of our favorite restaurants & shops in and around the Starland District:
Al Salaam Deli – Get the gyro. Trust us.
Atlantic – Everything about this place.
Back in the Day Bakery – The food. The atmosphere. The cookbook. The food.
El Coyote – Queso Fundido. Enough said. Oh, and the rooftop deck around sunset.
Foxy Loxy – Probably our favorite coffee shop in town. Check out “fire & wine night” and the fish tacos too!
Russo’s Seafood – Want some fresh local wild Georgia shrimp? This is the place! Fresh off the boat!
Sulfur Studios – Stop by the first Friday of each month for the open gallery tour.
The Vault – It was literally a bank in it’s former life. Hence “the vault.” Amazing sushi!
Two Tides Brewing Co. – We could hang out here all day. Stop by on a Friday or Saturday night for some live music and food trucks!
History & Home Styles
From StarlandDistrict.com …
In 1999, two SCAD graduates with undergraduate degrees in Historic Preservation, embarked on an adventure to purchase and restore the old Starland Dairy in downtown Savannah. The Starland Dairy was to become the centerpiece of a sixty+ block revitalization project that stitched together the corners of several existing, yet fragile neighborhoods. Over 50% of the housing stock in the district was unusable because of severely deteriorated conditions, and over 50% of the commercial structures in the community had been razed or had become derelict.
John Deaderick and Greg Jacobs, the two architects of the revitalization effort, believed that the Starland Dairy could become the catalyst for not only the rebirth of a downtown district, but for the birth of a real and functioning arts community in Savannah, separate from SCAD. The Starland District was planned from the beginning to be the hub for creative minds, businesses and culture in Savannah. In 2000 and 2001 the two secured ﬁnancing to purchase the dairy as well as around 20 other properties in the area.
Deaderick and Jacobs started restoring smaller buildings in the neighborhood while seeking construction ﬁnancing for the original Dairy. When the ﬁrst buildings were completed, the Starland First Friday was born. The ﬁrst exhibit, held in a small house at 28 E 41st Street drew over 700 visitors. Deaderick and Jacobs knew that Savannah was not only ready, but was craving a creative outlet that represented, real, working Savannah artists. They started creating affordable artists studios in buildings they had purchased, rented, or borrowed. Within a few years over 40 professional artists were working in the neighborhood.
Once most of the buildings on the two-city block wide Dairy site were restored, the two turned to building mixed-use inﬁll projects on some of the remaining vacant land at the dairy. 14 loft residences, 5 retail shops and 5 Live/Work spaces were built using an innovative construction technique that allowed the buildings to be highly energy efﬁcient, and were able to be the ﬁrst Gold Certiﬁed residences in Georgia by LEED (Leadership in Energy Efﬁcient Design). The new construction received an Honorable Mention award from The American Institute of Architects.
By 2007 over 250 abandoned houses and buildings in the Starland District had been restored by individuals and small companies that wanted to be a part of a new creative economy and community being born in Savannah. Every abandoned house that is restored and every new business that moves into Starland represents the hard work, ambition and dreams of those individuals making it happen. Starland now represents the efforts of so many committed, creative minds. The two founders of the district are happy to have their trace diminish as the marks of new minds continue, every day, to make Starland District a community worth living in and visiting.