The Macon-Bibb County Urban Development Authority would like to get input from property owners in various blocks of Macon about ways to improve their area.
They discussed Thursday the area between Broadway and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard from Riverside Drive to Walnut Street, which would include the vacant Goodwill building, recently closes Cassidys Garage, Golds Detailing and possibly some other surrounding properties.
The issue was brought before the authority by its properties committee.
Ed (Grant) proposed this because there is a lot of unused space in the area, said authority member Kay Gearhart. I think the reason he selected this is because of the NewCo project.
The NewCo project would include the renovation of the Riverview Hotel at 205 Broadway on the corner of Walnut Street into apartments with some hotel amenities that was presented to the authority in October. Grant currently owns the property and is an investor in NewCo LLC.
The authority agreed in October to a $9 million bond inducement for the development of the apartments, which means its a project the authority supports, but it hasnt yet committed to an actual bond issuance.
Lets leverage that to get some other development around that and look at it as a block development as opposed to one parcel, Grant said. We have 26,000 square feet in the Goodwill building that cant be utilized because you dont have enough parking, so a parking deck would help that.
So we want to get everyone at the table to talk about the whole block, and what would enhance the whole block.
Gene Dunwody said he thought it was a good idea.
Its a very under-utilized area, Dunwody said. There are businesses down there that are ongoing businesses and the most important thing is to communicate with those business owners and talk to them.
The authority agreed it would set up a block development charette with property owners as soon as it could be arranged.
In another matter, the county appointed Chris Sheridan to fill the seat of Bob Lewis whose term ended last month. Sheridan had served on the authority 2000-2011, finishing an unexpired term and two full terms. He is president of Chris R. Sheridan & Co., general contractors.
The authority Thursday elected Sheridan as chairman and attorney Kay Gerhardt as vice chairwoman. They also re-elected Rudell Richardson, a certified public accountant, as treasurer and executive director Alex Morrison as secretary.
To contact writer Linda S. Morris, call 744-4223.