Transitional Property Fund is Saving Downtown’s Historic Spaces

By October 5, 2016Place

Downtown Macon’s historic buildings’ stock is heralded by preservationists, coveted across the country and has defined the city’s character and charm for more than a century.

Just look at the city’s stunning Terminal Station that celebrated 100 years this year. Macon’s architectural treasures play a vital role in the city’s efforts to create a place for families, young professionals, artists and entrepreneurs to call home.

But like many older American cities, Downtown Macon has seen its urban ebb and flow, leaving some of these stunning historic structures vulnerable to decline due to inactivity and absentee ownership.

As an answer to that issue, NewTown Macon’s Transitional Property Fund gives Macon’s endangered buildings another chance to shine by allowing an owner to donate, or partially donate, the building to NewTown. It also allows NewTown the revolving funds to purchase these buildings when necessary. The properties are then sold to the right developer at the right opportunity, ensuring these buildings are being developed to their highest potential, as well as making sure they are always maintained and never torn down.

So, what buildings have been saved by the Transitional Property Fund?

One of the most noticeable examples is the historic Capricorn Records studio space. This long-unoccupied building, which once held the legendary artists and songs that catapulted Southern rock out of Macon, was named by the Georgia Trust as one of the “Top 10 Places in Peril” in 2010.

NewTown Macon, with help from the Peyton Anderson Foundation, purchased the landmark structure, stabilized it from further decay and ultimately sold it in 2015 to Sierra Development. This local developer has now begun construction on the blighted block surrounding the studio space, creating the Lofts at Capricorn, the largest mixed-use retail and residential development in Downtown Macon’s history.

As for the historic studio space? The developer donated the historic structure, as well as pledged funding towards its restoration, to Mercer University. It is now being brought back to life as Mercer Music at Capricorn, an innovative, multi-use music incubator space where artists can record, rehearse and nurture their talent.

Other Transitional Fund Properties include:

546 Poplar Street – Taste and See Coffee Shop; lofts

518-530 Cherry Street – Travis Jean; Doughboy Pizza; commercial property; multiple residential units

533 Cherry Street – Expansion of The Rookery; The Creek radio station

552-580 Cherry Street – Two commercial storefronts; 39 lofts

301 Cherry Street – Georgia Sports Hall of Fame

571 Cherry Street – Green room for Cox Capital Theater; storefront space and lofts

520 Mulberry Street – Oldham’s building; future loft development

555 Poplar Street – Johnson Lofts; NewTown Macon office; The Office co-working space

566 Poplar Street – Lofts at Poplar

745 Poplar Street  – Shrine Temple

167-175 and 600-700  Riverside Drive – Future riverfront developments

476 Second Street – Currently under construction as a restaurant and five apartments

332 Second Street – AGL-Mercer Program Center development

382 Second Street – Cox Capital Theater

476 Second Street – ECI Lofts; commercial

540 MLK Jr Blvd – Capricorn Recording Studio restoration

310-340 Sixth Street – Fitness studios; warehousing; future lofts

454 Terminal Avenue – Prodigy Woodworks and warehouse

If you’re interested learning more about NewTown Macon’s Transitional Property fund, visit the NewTown website or call Hal Baskins at 478-722-9909.