Macon couple brings new development to downtown

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) -On the other side of the tracks of the Terminal station , Brooks Patterson and his wife Leah are keeping busy.

“We just knew there was something better for this area,” said Brooks. “I’ve always liked fixing things, so this is no different for me. It’s just a much bigger project.”

The Pattersons own five acres of property on Sixth Street in Macon. Most of it is abandoned, but not for long.

“We just really wanted to improve our street,” said Leah. “It started out that we wanted our kids to have a place that maybe is, a little out of the norm for a family of four, but we wanted to be able to do something different.”

With the help of Widner & Associates, Downtown Macon will soon be getting a new urban living space called The Lofts at Empire Yard.

“They had the vision and let us work with them,” said Matt Widner. “So we’ve really enjoyed seeing this area and following along with their vision.”

Leah did her research. For decades an abandoned building, which is going to be used for the lofts, used to be home to everything from an ice cream company, to the coal industry.

“We had to tear it down, but I wanted to really leave as much of the walls and the structure as we could,” said Leah. “I hate tearing down history, I hate getting rid of it.”

The building will be used for 28 lofts. Widner provided the planning and architecture, but Leah and Brooks had to get their hands on the designs. It’s not only going to have living space, but a park, and shops down the Sixth Street.

“The hope is when we we get the place revitalized, that we’ll get more businesses down here and it will be part of a culture for this whole street,” said Brooks.” That’s what we’re trying to do.”

“I just want it to be family friendly, said Leah. “I want it to be a place where you’re not scared to walk down the street with your children. You can play in the park, you can live here. We’ll have one to three bedroom options.”

A dream the Pattersons can’t wait to share with the rest of the city.

The plan was presented to a Macon-Bibb commission at a committee meeting last week. Widner needs to get permission from the county to close part of Terminal Avenue for the park. They’re hoping to get construction started in the Fall and up and running by the end of 2018.