State approves sale of music hall to Mercer

Georgia’s State Properties Commission approved this week the transfer of the former Georgia Music Hall of Fame to Mercer University.

Mercer spokesman Larry Brumley said Thursday the building will be used for health sciences programs for the university’s medical school, but what those programs will be haven’t yet been decided.

The music hall, which opened to much fanfare in 1996, closed in June 2011 after its board of directors failed to approve a deal that would have kept the museum in Macon. The board ended up not awarding the hall of fame to any of the four cities that bid to take over its operations.

The 42,000-square-foot building, which sits on 3.2 acres in downtown Macon, has sat empty since last summer.

The state will sell the building to Mercer for $180,091, which includes the fair market value of the property plus economic considerations, according to state documents.

Brumley said there’s still some loose ends that need to be cleared up, but he said the university is hopeful the deal will be finalized within a month.

It likely will be at least a year, if not more, before Mercer puts the building to use because it will need millions in renovations once the university decides on a specific use for the property, Brumley said.

Brumley said the deal is beneficial to everyone involved.

“It’s a win-win for the university and the city, downtown in particular,” he said. “It’s a building that has sat empty that we’ll put to good use. And, it clears an excess property off the state’s rolls.”

To contact writer Phillip Ramati, call 744-4334.