Macon downtown improvements continue

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – The plans to revitalize the Macon downtown area are continuing, and one downtown business hopes the fresh ideas will create more opportunities to grow.

New faces usually means new success.

"Because of new living spaces, they tend to spend money close by," said Michael Collins.

And that’s good news for Michael Collins, the Floor director at Dovetail on Cherry Street.

"We’re right across the street, so we’ll expect to get new diners," said Collins.

Right across the street lies a building bursting with potential Collins described.

"We’re excited about the opportunity that exists to use this small piece of bond funds to leverage other bonders to get this done," said Macon-Bibb Commissioner Gary Bechtel.

Bechtel is talking about bond funds–funds the commission allocated at Tuesday’s Board meeting to help begin the renovation process.

The building is on the 500 block of Cherry Street, and right now, it’s empty.

"We’re not providing anything other than an additional financing piece. So it’s bond funds that are going to be repaid once the project is up and running."

So it costs up front–more than 400 thousand dollars to get this project started–but the payback will be worth more than just money.

"The new storefronts I think will provide new jobs, which will have a secondary effect of more people wanting to live, to work…Fresh blood in town, fresh dollars to spend," said Collins.

Fresh faces Collins believes will lead to a more vibrant downtown.
Bechtel told me the contractor hopes to begin leasing the new building in the early part of 2015.

He said the building hopes to have more than 40 loft apartments inside as well as a couple of spaces for commercial projects.

All in hopes of creating a bigger and better Macon.