The Kessler Collection’s Plant Riverside District Debuts As Center Of Entertainment


The Kessler Collection’s Plant Riverside District — a $375 million expansion project on Savannah’s riverfront in the National Historic Landmark District — opened to the public after a ribbon-cutting in late July. “Savannah’s Entertainment District” has added over a quarter of a mile of riverwalk to the shoreline, expanding the diversity of entertainment and hospitality options in the area.

The art collecting passion of Richard Kessler, Chairman and CEO of The Kessler Collection, is apparent throughout the entire project which includes curated galleries, all-age natural science exhibits, lounging and meeting space, entertainment and dining options, and the 419-room JW Marriott Savannah Ho- tel. Despite the renovation and expansion, there is an effort to restore and preserve the characteristics of the original 1912 power plant that powered Savannah until its decommissioning in 2005 after over 92 years. The ribbon-cutting ceremony was celebrated with performances by dancers, brass bands, entertainers and speeches from Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan and Mayor Van Johnson. Mayor Johnson praised Kessler’s realized vision as a “new generator” of new jobs and tax revenues. The Plant Riverside District is home to an assortment of restaurants, including an all-day American eatery, the Turbine Market + Cafe; the African inspired luxury cocktail lounge, Baobab Lounge; the Neapolitan-style pizza gathering place, Graffito; riverfront dining at District Seafood, District Smokehouse, Riverside Biergarten, and Riverside Sushi; a riverfront park honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. which will host a bust of the civil rights leader sculpted by artist Franco Castelluccio; the Savion and Grand Bohemian art galleries; and the Poseidon Spa, a 4,000 sq. ft. space with inclusive and progressive wellness options. The JW Marriott Savannah offers your choice of stay in one of two distinct hotel buildings — The Power Plant or The Three Muses.

L-R: Mayor Van Johnson, Edna Jackson and Richard Kessler
L-R: Mayor Van Johnson, Edna Jackson and Richard Kessler

The Riverside District will unveil even more options later in Fall during Phase II and Phase III in Spring 2020. On the schedule for reveal are a Mexican tequila and cantina bar, Savannah Tequila Co.; an upscale steakhouse with fresh seafood, Stone & Webster Chophouse; a Live Music Venue; the rooftop Compass Pool Lounge; and a mixeduse nautical-themed hotel named The Atlantic.

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