New businesses coming to Mercer

Two well-known locally-owned restaurants and a retailer are planning to open at the new $10 million mixed-use development on the Mercer University campus.

The names of the businesses going in at The Lofts at Mercer Village as part of the College Hill Corridor will be released today during a 3 p.m. ground-breaking event.

None of the businesses, which now have north Macon locations, are closing other stores in order to open at The Lofts, said Jessica Walden, director of communications and outreach for the College Hill Alliance.

The grand-opening ceremony will take place at the construction site at Linden and Montpelier avenues. A portion of Linden Avenue will be closed to traffic during the afternoon.

The new shops will join The Barnes & Noble at Mercer University book store that was announced in December.

“I know everyone downtown will be excited about the retailers we’ve got because basically all of them are going there with the idea, not just because of Mercer being there, but because of the proximity to downtown,” said Jim Daws, president of Sierra Development, which is developing the site with Piedmont Construction Group.

The first floor of the 55,000-square-foot building will have about 13,750 square feet of retail space and the top three floors will house up to 117 students in three- and four-bedroom, loft-style apartments.

The building will have an all-brick façade similar to the architectural style of Mercer’s campus. Many “green” elements will be used in the development, Daws said. The fully furnished apartments will have cork flooring with granite counter tops in the kitchens and baths. Each bedroom will have its own bathroom, and the units will feature 9- to 10-foot ceilings. Residents will use their Mercer Bear student ID cards to gain access to the building and to their apartments, Daws said.

All residents will have access to a common area that includes a cyber café, entertainment area with billiards and a study area.

The new businesses will join Ingleside Village Pizza, Jittery Joe’s Coffee, Francar’s Buffalo Wings, the Bike Store, Georgia Public Broadcasting studios and offices for the College Hill Alliance.

To contact writer Linda S. Morris, call 744-4223.