1811 MLK Jr. Blvd. & 508 Kline


Kline Corner Store

BUILT: c.1888
DISTRICT: Cuyler Brownville
SQUARE FOOTAGE: 3,410 sq. ft.
Zoning: TC-1

The Opportunity
HSF is pleased to present a unique opportunity to redevelop a prominent corner of downtown Savannah in the Cuyler-Brownville Historic District.  This opportunity includes both a historic c. 1880s cottage (508 Kline) and a buildable vacant lot (1811 MLK Jr. Blvd). These properties are centrally located and are within walking distance to numerous restaurants, local businesses, parks, SCAD buildings, and are located on a CAT bus route. Certain incentives for this property are available including state and federal rehabilitation tax credits for the historic cottage; Savannah Enterprise Zone incentives for the entire development; as well as technical assistance from HSF throughout the whole process.

The buyer is expected to restore/rehabilitate the historic cottage at 508 Kline to HSF preservation standards. See elevation drawing below.  The vacant lot is to be redeveloped with new construction as per a pre-approved HSF design.  See elevation drawings below.  (There will be specific stipulations pertaining to materials on the new construction – real wood siding, real wood windows, etc.) Both properties will also be subject to a preservation easement held by HSF in perpetuity (see below for details).  All properties are to be sold in as-is condition, no warranties.

Minimum bid is $80,000 (These two properties are being sold together. Individual offers will not be considered.)  The deadline to submit a proposal is midnight. Monday, February 28, 2022. 

Open Houses: Thursday, February 10, 2022 from 2-5 p.m. and Thursday, February 24, 2022 from 2-5 p.m.

According to the Sanborn Fire Insurance Co. maps, a one-story wood-frame structure already existed on this site as early as 1888, fronting what was then West Broad Street (now Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.) This was before Kline Street had even been platted.  By 1898, this small structure sat at the corner of Kline and West Broad where it served as a corner store.  In 1909, a new two-story mixed-use building was constructed on the corner (1811 MLK).  A city-permit dated January 5, 1909 clearly mentions that the little wood-frame building was spared demolition by rotating it 90 degrees (to front Kline Street) and moving it 40 feet to the West – where 508 Kline currently sits.  The new two-story building was home to a small corner store and three individual rental units.  In 2016, after sitting vacant for many years and suffering serious deferred maintenance, the City of Savannah filed for a court-issued demolition order, and 1811 MLK was razed.  HSF partnered with Savannah Technical College to document the building before it was torn down.  HSF used much of that data collected to inform our design for the new construction.  Cuyler-Brownville is a historically African-American neighborhood dating back to the late 19th century.  As the name implies, it is the result of two land developments, which have now grown into one community rich in history and character. The neighborhood’s heritage is the direct result of the migration of freed slaves from farms and barrier islands into Savannah following the Civil War. Cuyler-Brownville was far enough southwest of Savannah that an African-American community could grow and develop independently. It was developed and built by and for all classes of African-Americans in the community.

Preservation Easement Requirements
As a condition of sale, Historic Savannah Foundation will place a protective easement on all properties, which requires HSF’s review and approval of any new construction; or changes to the existing historic building (to include oversight of certain interior elements). The easement is a legally enforceable deed restriction and runs with the property in perpetuity. Per the easement, substantial work on the subject properties must commence within 5 months of closing, and completed within 18 months of that same date.

3D Tour of 508 Kline Street

View Floor Plan – 508 Kline

Proposed rehab design – 508 Kline

Design for new construction at 1811 MLK

Additional Resources

County Property Card – 1811 MLK Jr. Blvd. 

Google Maps View of Property 1811 MLK Jr. Blvd. 

HSF “Request for Alterations/Repair to Property Under Easement or Covenant” Form & Application

Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation

National Park Service “Preservation Briefs”

Draft of an HSF Conservation Easement

If you have any questions about the process or property, please contact Ryan Jarles at rjarles@myhsf.org or call 912-233-7787.

Scoring System

HSF’s Revolving Fund Committee will review proposals using a 100-point scoring system based on the following: bid amount (25 points); past experience with historic properties (25 points); intended end-use and preservation plan (25 points); committee discretion based on their knowledge and experience with projects of this kind (25 points).

The deadline for submitting complete bid packages is midnight on Monday, February 28, 2022. Offers can be submitted on-line or by mail to HSF’s office @ 321 E. York St., Savannah, GA 31401