A proposed shopping center on Bass Road at Starcadia Circle in north Bibb County is not as large as what was planned before the recession, but it would still be a substantial retail center.
A conditional-use permit is being sought for 1625 Bass Road to allow a 185,000-square-foot retail center to be known as North Macon Plaza. A variance in parking requirements also has been filed. The matters are expected to be heard during Monday's meeting of the Macon-Bibb County Planning & Zoning Commission.
The proposed center would be built on about 19 acres of an existing 27-acre site surrounded by Starcadia Circle. Access to retailers and parking would be from Bass Road and from driveways along Starcadia Circle. The applicant, Sembler Florida Inc., plans to include dense landscape buffers on the perimeter of the development similar to what's utilized at The Shoppes at River Crossing to screen the service areas of retailers, according to the commission's staff report.
During the past 13 years, there have been several retail plans for this site, which is owned by an entity of Macon-based Fickling & Co. In August, 2005, plans were approved to develop 26 acres for a 262,200-square-foot shopping center and the possible development of second-floor office space of about 22,000 square feet. Plans did not move forward, and the approval expired and was withdrawn.
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Another site plan was approved in 2008 for a shopping center on 41 acres that included the subject site plus additional property across Starcadia Circle. Again, plans did not move forward and the approval expired. Then in August 2015, a permit was approved to develop a 250,000-square-foot shopping center on 38 acres, but plans didn't move forward and permits were never issued.
"We call (the current proposal) a sustainable retail center because we have no special or unique tenant footprints," said a statement presented with the application. "Plans for big box retailers to power centers have been presented and approved over the years. ... A great majority of the national and regional retail chains are building fewer and mostly smaller brick and mortar locations. ... The impact of on-line sales ... has greatly reduced the need for brick and mortar stores."
The commission meeting begins at 1:30 p.m. in the commission chambers at the Macon-Bibb County Government Center, 700 Poplar St. This is a change of location because the zoning office is in the process of moving to Terminal Station.
Other items on the agenda are:
DEFERRED FROM PREVIOUS MEETING:
342 Main St., 320 & 334 Hydrolia St.: Certificate of Appropriateness to allow design approval of a new convenience store with fuel and alcohol sales, CBD-2 District. Bob Lewis & Associates Inc. applicant.
108 North Haven Drive: Conditional use to allow a fence within undisturbed buffer, PDR District. Rafig Khoja, Justin Hollingsworth, applicant.
1979 Riverside Drive: Conditional use to allow auto sales, C-4 District. Baxter Auto Brokers, applicant.
600 Eisenhower Pkwy.: Conditional use to allow a private school (nurse aide training), R-2 District. Shandriyel Ben, applicant.
1985 Gray Highway: Conditional use to allow revisions to a previously approved site plan, C-2 District. Cunningham & Co. Engineers, applicant.
CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS:
901 Washington Ave.: Certificate of Appropriateness to allow design approval of a free standing and wall sign for a professional office, HR-3 District. DTT Enterprises, applicant.
543 Plum St.: Certificate of Appropriateness to allow design approval of exterior modifications, CBD-1 District. Sidney Haynes, applicant.
4226 Hartley Bridge Road: Variance in signage requirements to allow a wall sign, C-4 District. Hartley Bridge Family Dentistry, applicant.
5440 Bowman Road: Variance in parking requirements to allow parking stalls, PDE District. Nathan Adams, applicant.
7545 Knoxville Road: Conditional use to allow a changeable display sign [18-20133], A-Agricultural District. The Sign Store, applicant.
858 High St.: Conditional use to allow a professional office [18-20157], HR-3 District. Howard Sanchez, Fitzroy Flex Health LLC., applicant.