The demolition of Macon Homes, a massive rehabilitation of one of Macon’s worst neighborhoods, is about halfway complete, Macon Mayor Robert Reichert said Wednesday.
Eighteen of the decaying concrete-block apartment buildings have been torn down, with another 26 to go. But much of the more time-consuming remediation work — such as testing for asbestos — is already done, allowing the rest of the demolitions to move relatively quickly. The first new houses, built using federal housing dollars, should be complete by September, Macon Housing Authority Director John Hiscox said.
As the process goes forward, people can watch the buildings come down through a Web cam the city has posted at the site. The camera, which shows real time video from the site, can be accessed through the city’s Web site, www.cityofmacon.net.
“You can actually watch the demolition live 24 hours a day, except when it gets dark,” an excited Reichert said during a Wednesday news conference at the site.
Much of the funding for the project comes from federal money that was part of a series of neighborhood stabilization grants approved last year to address the national mortgage crisis. The housing authority, which is taking the lead on the project, plans to dovetail this revitalization project with several others, and build about 75 new homes at the site.
The abandoned apartment complex has been one of Macon’s most blighted neighborhoods. It’s located in the Bartlett Crossing area, close to where Lizzie Chapel Baptist Church has recently built a new complex in an ongoing effort to improve the area.
The Web cam cost the city about $1,900, including the protective case, mayoral spokesman Andrew Blascovich said. Cox and Georgia Power donated cable service and power to get the camera up and running, he said.
To contact writer Travis Fain, call 744-4213.