Pretty palette coming soon to downtown Macon

pramati@macon.comFebruary 24, 2014 

They’re getting ready to paint the town Navajo Red.

And Gettysburg Gray, Jumel Peachtone and more than 30 other colors as part of Macon’s winning entry in a downtown revitalization contest.

Macon-Bibb County officials welcomed Benjamin Moore & Co. on Monday as the paint company prepares for an extensive paint job as part of its Main Street Matters program.

Macon was one of 20 cities nationally to be selected for the makeover, which will include all the buildings along Second Street between Mulberry and Poplar streets.

“We’re extra excited to be a part of Macon’s revitalization of downtown,” said Pat McFadden, director of sales for the company’s Southeast region.

Macon was selected thanks to a huge push among residents who voted for the city in social media forums.

Macon-Bibb County Mayor Robert Reichert, who delivered some ceremonial brush strokes to the front of 484 Second St., said the project comes along at the perfect time, since it coincides with the city’s revitalization efforts along the Second Street Corridor.

“There are a number of buildings along Second Street, and (the selected colors) are coordinated and will complement one another,” he said. “It makes it inviting for businesses and is part of the vision of what Second Street will become.”

Reichert said the revitalization of Second Street will help eliminate some of the city’s blight issues. The ultimate plan for Second Street is to turn it into “a vibrant urban core,” he said, that will bring added connectivity to Interstates 16 and 75.

Benjamin Moore officials worked with the building owners to determine what colors would be used for each building. Some of the buildings will get an entirely new color scheme, while other buildings will get their fronts redone.

Cesare Mammarella, who owns the restaurant Ginger Stir Fry & Grill at the corner of Second and Poplar streets, said his building will keep its color scheme but get a fresh coat of paint.

“It’s definitely exciting,” he said. “This is the second mini-renaissance for downtown. We’ve been down here for 13 years. The first one was 2001, ‘02.”

Mammarella estimated it would have cost him $6,000 or more to have had the work done himself.

Benjamin Moore officials said Monday that they didn’t have an estimate on how much it will cost to paint the two blocks. The work has been contracted out to downtown developer Tony Long, whose company won the bid. Long said crews of four to eight workers will do the work, which is expected to be completed by the middle of March, assuming no weather delays.

Mechel McKinley, the Main Street Macon manager, said the project will cover about 35 buildings in all.

“This project has given us national attention,” she said. “What this means for economic development is business growth. (Benjamin Moore) is investing a lot, and we appreciate them coming to us.”

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