Plans for a mixed-use development as part of the College Hill Corridor moved another step Monday toward reality.
The Macon-Bibb County Planning & Zoning Commission approved a conditional-use permit for 1602 Montpelier Ave./1400 Coleman Ave. to allow the development of loft apartments and retail space.
Mercer University announced plans in December for the $10 million project called The Lofts at Mercer Village. Plans are to construct a four-story mixed-use building with 15,500 square feet of retail/commercial use on the ground floor and three stories of loft apartments with 117 units. The primary occupant of the ground floor would be the campus bookstore.
“This is a joint effort project between the university and a local developer. ... They will do the project and manage it,” said Zan Thompson, owner of ZT3 Placemaker Studio Inc. land planner. Macon-based Sierra Development and Piedmont Construction Group are developing and building the development.
The apartments are intended for existing Mercer students who currently live off campus, Thompson said.
“These will be very upscale apartments,” he said. “We are anxious to get going on the building.”
The commission approved the permit in a 4-0 vote. Commissioner Sarah Gerwig-Moore excused herself from the discussion and did not vote on the issue because of a conflict of interest. Gerwig-Moore is co-chairwoman of the College Hill Corridor Commission.
Also during the meeting, the commission once again deferred a conditional-use permit for 2730 Masseyville Road for a mixed-use senior retirement community called Charlotte’s Beach. The item was deferred from the Jan. 11 meeting to allow time for the applicant to provide a final building design.
Commissioners expressed concerns again about the industrial-look to the apartment buildings.
Pamela Young, the development’s project manager, said the architect needs more time to work on changes.
The matter was deferred to the Feb. 22 meeting.
In another matter, the commission agreed to put a 90-day moratorium on electronic display signs in order to develop regulations for them. Existing sign regulations do not directly address some of the issues with electronic signs, said executive director Jim Thomas.
Other items on the agenda were:
ITEMS DEFERRED FROM PRIOR MEETINGS:
3535 Williamson Road: In violation by revising a site plan, installation of gates and fences that require variances without obtaining a zoning compliance, R-3 District. Stansberry & Co., College Park of Macon LLC. Resolved.
5165 Mount Pleasant Church Road: Conditional use to allow a manufactured home, A-Agricultural District. Emily Jones, applicant. Approved.
3393 Vineville Ave.: Conditional use to allow a beauty salon in an existing building, R-3 District. Cindy Hudson Cooley; Aaron Scot Salon, applicant. Approved.
533 Cherry St.: Conditional use to allow a place of assembly (art and music venue), CBD-1 District. Keith Watson, applicant. Approved.
111 Riverside Parkway: Conditional use to allow an automotive repair (body shop) in an existing building, C-2 District. Butler Family Holding LLLP, applicant. Approved.
3535 Williamson Road: Conditional use to allow site plan revisions to a previously approved apartment complex (closing of existing driveways), R-3 District. College Park of Macon LLC, Blair Cleveland, applicant. Approved.
3535 Williamson Road: Variance in height requirements and setback requirements to allow a fence, R-3 District. College Park of Macon LLC; Blair Cleveland, applicant. Approved.
4315 Houston Ave.: Variance in setback requirements to allow a gas canopy, C-1 District. Bob Hoffman, Charter South Inc., applicant. Approved.
350 Hospital Drive: Variance in aggregate sign area requirements, C-2 District. Daniel Peters, Coliseum Medical Centers, applicant. Approved.
1914 Canterbury Road: In violation of Section 4.07  (a) (ii) and Section 4.07  of the Comprehensive Land Development Resolution (shipping container used as an accessory building/storage building located in the front yard). Edward Rumney. Withdrawn by staff.
To contact writer Linda S. Morris, call 744-4223.