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New dorms at Mercer: Here’s a list of new development proposed in Macon

These Mercer students are giving back to an East Macon community near campus

Kings Park has a brand new community center and renovated playground, but for months the center sat empty. Now, Mercer University students come twice a week to help kids in the neighborhood with their homework and play games.
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Kings Park has a brand new community center and renovated playground, but for months the center sat empty. Now, Mercer University students come twice a week to help kids in the neighborhood with their homework and play games.

Mercer University plans to add a new six-story student residence hall and parking deck near its stadium on Mercer University Drive.

Plans for the proposed building include 90 suite rooms totaling 352 beds. The five-level parking deck will have capacity for 408 parking spots, according to a proposal from Triple Point Engineering, Inc.

The Macon-based developer applied for conditional use and two variances that are set to be taken up at the next Macon-Bibb County Planning & Zoning meeting May 13.

“Based on current projections of undergraduate enrollment growth on the Macon campus, we will need additional beds in the fall of 2021,” Mercer University spokesman Kyle Sears said. “Because it is still in the planning stages, it does not yet have a name.”

The University expects a total of 3,500 undergraduate students on campus this fall, and as many as 4,000 by fall 2021. The current capacity is 2,850 beds, but with the addition of the new residence hall, the school would be able to “meet the needs of all the students who are required to, or want to, live in campus housing,” Sears said.

The site where dorms are planned abuts the long-closed part of College Street that cuts through campus.

In other business, New Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church plans to open the H.O.P.E. Institute of Learning at 4090 Napier Ave., the site where Carver Head Start School once operated.

The church bought the property from the Bibb County Board of Education late last year and plans to operate a daycare in addition to an elementary school serving grades 1-6, according to the request for variance application submitted to the planning and zoning commission.

Other notable items to be discussed at the May 13 meeting include:

  • Potemkin Development is seeking approval to build Sterling Heights, an apartment complex for seniors at 1691 Wesleyan Drive. The proposed complex would include 120 units of “quality affordable housing” for people over 55. The property, about 24 acres, would include a clubhouse with a computer lab, an exercise center and a covered porch, according to the application.
  • In-Fill Housing, Inc., a nonprofit affiliated with the Macon-Bibb County Housing Authority, requests to rezone 2.5 acres at 3568 Northside Drive to allow the construction of a three-story building for a “multi-family senior development,” according to the application. The 72-unit complex would include a community garden to be maintained by the developer.
  • Kentucky-based Marian Development Group plans to build a 78-unit apartment complex at 600 Lamar Road. The units will be a mix of one, two and three-bedrooms. If all is approved, construction could start in summer 2020 and take 12-14 months.
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