Starland District is Hotter Than Ever


By Staci M. Donegan

Special to the Savannah Morning News

From 1880 until the roaring 1920s, streetcars made it possible for Savannahians to live in what is now known as the Thomas Square Streetcar Historic District or the Starland District. The ease of public transportation supported the development of Savannah’s first suburb, featuring large lots and a remarkable collection of architectural styles, ranging from Queen Anne Victorian to Neoclassical Revival.

Although streetcars no longer run through this neighborhood, the Starland District, which is named after the old Starland Dairy that once served as an anchor on Bull Street, is currently experiencing a renaissance, appealing to a wide range of real estate buyers. Bounded to the west by Montgomery Street, to the east by East Broad Street, to the north by Anderson Lane and the south by Victory Drive, the Thomas Square Streetcar Historic District has gone through many changes over the years and has quickly become one of Savannah’s hottest neighborhoods. The New York Times has described the area as a “creative incubator,” attracting artists, entrepreneurs and Savannah College of Art and Design students.

Once home to a significant number of investment properties affected by urban blight, today the Thomas Square neighborhood has been lovingly restored, with magnificent Victorian homes lining shady streets. Popular restaurants like The Vault, Cotton & Rye and Green Truck and inviting cafes like Foxy Loxy and Henny Penny now serve as a magnet, attracting residents from across the area.

The Thomas Square Streetcar Historic District earned a place on the National Register of Historic Places in 1997 and, in the past few years, has appealed to millennials looking for quirky shops, eclectic art galleries, vintage-style cafes and colorful backdrops for Instagram photos. The Savannah College of Art and Design’s renovation of Arnold Hall, located at the corner of Bull and 35th Street, added a steady stream of students to the mix of residents in this eclectic neighborhood.

In recent years, the Starland neighborhood has seen significant increases in property values, as the neighborhood’s reputation has grown. In 2018, the average residential sale price is $323,902, which is more than twice the average sale price of $162,374 in 2013. During the same period, the average price per square foot also doubled, increasing from $70 to $155.

The Bull Street Library and the Gingerbread House, originally built in 1889 and now a popular wedding location, serve as anchors in the neighborhood. The planned Starland Village promises to bring a mix of retail, dining and residential amenities to Bull Street and is expected to spark further development in the neighborhood. 

Prices are expected to continue to climb in the Starland District in the future. Now is a great time to invest in this vibrant neighborhood, which offers an exceptional experience for families, young professionals, students and retirees.

Staci M. Donegan is a Top Producer at Celia Dunn/Sotheby’s International Realty who provides highly professional, strategic solutions for buyers and sellers throughout the Savannah area. She can be reached at staci@stacidoneganrealestate.comor 912-247-2052.