Mallow Selected As Head of Major East Savannah Revitalization Project

(SAVANNAH, GA) Derek Mallow has been appointed executive director of East Savannah United, a comprehensive neighborhood revitalization initiative focusing on Hitch Village, Blackshear and nearby neighborhoods.

East Savannah United (ESU), under the leadership of Mallow and its Board of Directors, will initially focus on a 9-acre site owned by the Housing Authority of Savannah across Wheaton Street from the Savannah office of the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services(DFCS) and directly behind Randy’s Bar-B-Q. HAS, a charter member of 6-year-old ESU, intends to provide a long-term ground lease of the property to ESU for the following new programs and buildings to be overseen by the newly chartered 501©3 nonprofit:

*A 14,000-square-foot Quality-Rated Early Learning Center for approximately 144 children ages 6 weeks through three years and a small attached children’s public library. Both of these projects would be primarily funded by SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) measures previously approved by area voters.

*An approximate 20,000-square-foot YMCA fitness facility/community center owned and operated by the YMCA of Coastal Georgia. Construction of this facility is contingent upon a successful capital campaign to be run by the YMCA.

*An approximate 20,000-square-foot Goodwill Southeast Georgia adult education program, also contingent upon a capital campaign, which would target individuals ages 18-35. Modeled after a highly successful similar Goodwill program in Indianapolis, participants could earn both a high school degree and one or multiple credential certificates in high demand/sustainable wage jobs to be offered by Savannah Tech.

*Hundreds of existing and planned new and rehabbed apartments in the Hitch Village and Blackshear neighborhoods already or to be built by the Housing Authority of Savannah via tax credits and other financing. Residents of these apartments are some of the primary intended beneficiaries of the conveniently located “wraparound services” to be offered through the project.

East Savannah United is modeled after the acclaimed 27-year-old East Lake revitalization project in Atlanta, which is part of a national community resurgence project called Purpose Built Communities (, which now numbers more than 25 such projects, including five in Georgia.

Purpose Built is a comprehensive and integrated approach for reinvigorating historically high-poverty neighborhoods by providing comprehensive cradle-to-college education, mixed income housing and health/wellness efforts, all overseen by a “Community Quarterback,” which is tasked with ensuring that the different elements of the project are working together to improve area family outcomes.

East Savannah United, led by Mallow, is the “Community Quarterback” for the East Savannah project.
Mallow, formerly the longtime field director of the Coastal Georgia Council of Boy Scouts America, is also the House District 163 State Representative to the Georgia General Assembly. He has a master’s in public administration from Savannah State University, and is an active member of numerous organizations, including Total Grace Baptist Church and 100 Black Men of Savannah Inc.

“East Savannah United can change lives for young people, just like when I would go to community centers for activities,” said Mallow. “This collaborative approach will allow us to serve families and kids from all over.”

“As a native of East Savannah, who has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of Savannahians, Derek is the perfect person to lead this initiative,” said East Savannah United Board Chairman Jeff Kole. “Derek has the leadership skills, vision, connections and commitment to see that this important community initiative is realized.”

For further information about Derek Mallow or East Savannah United, please contact Derek at cell #912-401-1957 or Jeff Kole at cell # 912-655-4612 or

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