When the sun is out, the air is warm and the smell of coffee is everywhere.
It’s a sunny day in the Savannah neighborhood of Savannah and it’s getting colder.
The city is experiencing its coldest winter in a century.
But the warm weather has also made it a hotbed for construction.
It all began in December of 2016.
That was when a company called K2 Architects unveiled plans for a $300 million renovation to a vacant former steel plant.
The company’s website says the project would transform the historic downtown of the city into a “super-modern urban oasis.”
The new buildings would include offices, a hotel, a fitness center, and retail.
It would also include “over 2,000 residential units” with 1,500 to 2,500 square feet of ground floor retail, as well as 400 to 500 homes.
The project is slated to open by 2020.
And it has been building.
K2 has said the project is in the early stages of its construction.
As of late May, K2 said it had completed 2,979 units in its project, with more than 1,600 units still to go.
“This is the first project we’ve ever completed where the cost per square foot of the project has been below $1,000,” K2 President, Mike Davenport, told CBC News.
“We’re building a new, world-class, multi-million dollar community with a focus on the community.”
But the project’s development has been controversial in the past.
K1, the firm that’s building the project, has been sued for allegedly misappropriating funds from the project.
That case was settled last year.
In July, the company agreed to pay $7.7 million in damages to a man who says he was sexually assaulted by a K2 executive in 2014.
He said the company was then involved in an alleged scheme to conceal payments for sex with his accuser.
“I believe that it is extremely concerning that a private company like K2 is able to continue to pursue an investigation of my client’s sexual assault without due process and without an opportunity for me to participate in that investigation,” he said.
“They’re able to make decisions and they’re not even able to disclose the fact that they’re pursuing this investigation and then have it be settled with the complainant.”
The settlement was the first of its kind for sexual assault in Georgia.
In an interview with CBC News, the man, who is still identified as John Doe, said he was forced to work with K2.
“You know that the only reason that I was allowed to speak to [K2] was that they were investigating me,” he told CBC.
“It was a company that was trying to keep their money.
And they’re trying to make a lot of money.”
In March of this year, K1 filed a $9.7-million lawsuit against K2 and the other three developers in an attempt to stop the $300-million project from going forward.
In the lawsuit, the developers said K1 was a shell company controlled by a former K2 vice president, Michael Davenpaul, and that K1’s $4.3-million legal fees for its own lawsuit were improperly used.
The lawsuit said K2 had spent $4 million to help build the project before K1 entered into the deal.
“The only reason I’m talking to you is that we have an obligation to you,” Davenpor told CBC in March.
“That’s why we paid you to do this.”
The lawsuit also alleged that K2’s financial and legal actions had caused the project to be a “massive shell game,” and that the firm’s executives had misled the public and the court.
But in its lawsuit, K3 claimed that the company’s actions were legal and that it did not know of any of the allegations against it.
K3 also said the lawsuit had been filed “without the knowledge of the parties and without K1 being provided with any documentation of any misconduct.”
The two sides were due in court in June for a hearing.
Meanwhile, construction has been picking up in the neighborhood.
In March, K4 signed a $20-million lease on a vacant building on Georgia Avenue.
K4 has said it expects the new project to open in 2021.
But construction has continued despite the lack of a building permit.
The construction boom continues.
K5, the largest developer in the area, has already started work on a $500-million building that it plans to use as a headquarters for its other properties in the city.
“K5 is confident that this project will not only add to our portfolio but will further the revitalization of the Savannah community and provide a more attractive destination for residents to visit, live, shop and do business,” said Michael E. Sperling, K5’s vice president and general manager.
In October, K6 announced that it would be building a $1.5-billion, 1,200-