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Eagle Inn Motel demolished – No immediate plans to replace

The Eagle Inn Motel, which was located at 458 South Main, has been demolished by the new owner.

Local businessman Al Chapman acquired the Eagle Inn several months ago.

Chapman also owns Gnat’s Landing and Del Sur along with the the building that houses Southern Crab House and some additional adjacent property.

This old motel had become very run down and was an eyesore for that area which is the gateway to downtown and the Blue Mile beautification project.

Chapman originally hoped to restore the hotel back to its splendor, but after looking into the disrepair of the motel he determined the best option was to level the property. He does not have any immediate plans for the property.

Chapman’s two restaurants are very popular with students and the community. The restaurants could really benefit from additional parking.

This could relieve some parking issues for his businesses temporarily, until he develops a full plan for the property.

Even though this building was a target to demolish or update as part of the Blue Mile Streetscape Improvement project, there was no Blue Mile funds used for this.

This in effect, was a gift to the Blue Mile project from the local businessman, taking care of this eyesore.

Hats off to Chapman for making these improvements with the Eagle Inn. Chapman continues to bring his vision to life which has breathed new life into this important part of downtown.

Blue Mile Streetscape Improvements Moving Ahead

The Blue Mile committee received a one million prize four years ago from Frontier Communications America’s Best Communities competition. This was the catalyst for this improvement project.

From Blue Mile website

At the June 15, 2021 city council meeting the Statesboro City Council voted to award a contract to McLendon Enterprises, Inc. in the amount of 3,956,569.90 for the Blue Mile Streetscape Improvements project. This project is paid by GDOT LMIG (grant) funds, 2018 SPLOST, 2013 SPLOST, and water, sewer, gas enterprise funds.

You will begin seeing construction on the first phase of the improvement project, which includes the section of South Main from Gnat’s Landing to Fair road at the railroad tracks, in the next few weeks.

From the outset, community leaders have said that for this project to be successful it will take a mixture of investments from public and private partnerships.

The Creek on the Blue Mile Project

A second, even more ambitious project known as The Creek on the Blue Mile, which includes a plan to remake a drainage reservoir through downtown into a water feature that would include retail, restaurants and living space has been proposed.

From Creek on Blue Mile website

The proposed $21 million flood improvement and economic development project was estimated to cost $21 million.

The city of Statesboro received $5.5 in direct state funding in the form of a grant through the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA) for water control portions of the project, plus a $15.5 million, low-interest line of credit also from GEFA.

Combined this was projected to cover the majority of the funding for the project.

The city hired the consulting firm of Freese and Nichols, who worked with a local company, EMC Engineering Service to provide a more thorough feasibility study. They reported back to the city the end of 2020 delivering a more than 700-page feasibility study.

The study estimated that if they city completed all the proposed public infrastructure aspects of the project it would likely cost between $40.2 million and $64.8 million, instead of the original $21 million in state funding.

The consultants and city leaders have gone back to the drawing board to see if they can reshape and scale back the project in a way that will make it work financially and aesthetically as hoped.

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