A downtown Macon business owner is maintaining his stance that he won’t sell his property to make way for a park.
Wilson Electric Supply Co. owner Roger Wilson said he still has no plans to sell his Second Street business that Macon-Bibb County government is looking to turn into an urban green space aimed at attracting commercial and residential development. The business is located on the final corner needed for a Mid City Square after buildings were demolished on three other properties this year.
Wilson said it’s been months since there has been any discussion with someone involved in attempting to purchase his property.
“They figured we’d jump for money,” the 87-year-old said. “We have a good trade and make a good living. There ain’t no use of us giving up what we’ve done for three or four generations.”
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While there haven’t been any recent conversations with Wilson from anyone in local government, the goal remains to negotiate a deal, Macon-Bibb County spokesman Chris Floore said.
There is no timeline for the Mid City Square project. There has not been any discussion about the county exercising eminent domain -- the right to acquire private property for public use -- on the Wilson’s property, Floore said.
“We’re trying to find a mutually beneficial agreement,” he said.
The concept plan for Mid City Square is a central plaza surrounded by commercial and residential properties, including apartments and a possible hotel that would tie into the Medical Center, Navicent Health. It’s part of Mayor Robert Reichert’s Second Street corridor revitalization effort.
Mike Wilson, son of Roger Wilson and president of Wilson Electric Supply, said a relocation would separate the company from its next-door neighbor Wilson Electric. The two businesses have the same management, bookkeeping and sales force, but sell different products. That setup allows for a customer getting an electric motor repaired to only have to travel next door to purchase wires, Mike Wilson said.
Several county commissioners, the Wilsons say, have stopped by the businesses to show support against using eminent domain.
Commissioner Elaine Lucas said she’s not in favor of local government forcibly acquiring Wilson Electric Supply Co.
“I don’t believe this is one of those things where the wishes of the government override the wishes of a private property owner,” she said.
Information from the Telegraph archives was used in this report. To contact writer Stanley Dunlap, call 744-4623 or find him on Twitter@stan_telegraph.