The Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority needs more large tracts of land to attract potential industry, so it took a step Monday toward that goal.
The authority agreed to exercise an option to purchase about 130 acres at Skipper and Sardis Church roads adjacent to Interstate 75. The property is across the interstate from the authority's I-75 Business Park. The Macon Water Authority also is a partner in the purchase.
The authorities would be buying the property, which comprises several tracts, from various owners affiliated with Oney Hudson. The purchase price is about $5.7 million.
"It's a nice size tract," said Kevin Brown, the Industrial Authority's attorney. "We've been trying to assemble 100-plus acre sites. ... We need a bank of land so when industries are ready to locate, you have something ready to show them."
Macon Mayor Robert Reichert said it was a good move.
"I think this is another excellent acquisition for us," said Reichert, who is a member of the authority.
The authority would like to close on the purchase by the end of year, but the owner has to remove a restriction on the title of one parcel. It requires access to Sardis Church Road for an existing convenience store. But authority members say that restriction ties their hands for future development.
"(The authority) won't buy it unless the restriction is lifted," Brown said.
In another matter, the authority agreed to buy about 8 acres from Lowe Aviation and related owners, and to acquire the leasehold interests of a large airplane hangar, called the Stevens Hangar, and some smaller temporary hangars for a total of $900,000.
Brown said the property would allow for expansion of runway-accessible areas to the airport.
"I think the acquisition of this property will put us in an excellent position to pursue additional economic development at the airport," Reichert said.
To contact writer Linda S. Morris, call 744-4223.