Minding Your Business: Construction crews getting busy in Macon

Seeing NewTown Macon’s lofts project in action is exciting.

We’ve been hearing about the plan for a couple of years. Now, we’re starting to see it.

The dust is flying downtown as contractors breathe new life in the historic Dannenberg building, creating as many as 72 loft-style apartments.

Developer Tony Widner also has construction crews busy at 377 Cotton Ave. As part of NewTown’s plan, Widner is building six lofts, 1,200 square feet of retail space on the ground floor and 24 “climate controlled” storage spaces in the basement.

The most exciting part for me seeing this activity is wondering what kinds of growth it will spur. What kinds of retailers, restaurants and services will follow the people who come downtown to live?

The lack of construction crews working around town really stood out to me after the economy went south about five years ago.

When I see crews working now, I often stop and ask them: “How’s business?”

I’ve been getting some positive answers lately. I talked to a contractor Wednesday who was converting a building on Zebulon Road into a Verizon Wireless showroom. He said his calendar is booked solid.

The construction activity at Macon Mall also continues. Two retailers, Dry Falls Outfitters and B. Turner’s, are building on about 33,500 square feet.

I continue to believe (and hope) this is economic recovery.

Telegraph on the move

Our newsroom can be a beehive of activity -- keyboards clacking, journalists yakking, phones ringing.

A new activity’s been added to that list lately: people packing.

We’re less than a couple of weeks away from moving our news operation to Mercer Village as part of the newspaper’s collaboration with Mercer University and Georgia Public Broadcasting.

Excitement about the move is really kicking in for me.

I’m certainly looking forward to being in a brand new newsroom, but most of my excitement stems from being part of something innovative that has an entire industry looking at Macon.

The New York Times is even scheduled to send a writer here to document this groundbreaking collaboration.

As we worked late into the night Tuesday, it dawned on me that it was the last election here at 120 Broadway. A lot of news -- even a Pulitzer Prize -- has come out of this building in the 51 years the paper has been here.

The Telegraph will continue to be Middle Georgia’s news leader.

We’ll just be at a new location.

To contact Business Editor Harold Goodridge, call 744-4382.