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yerocal

Georgia's Next Atlanta- Macon....

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I think is on it way of becoming Georgia Next Largest and major city. It has fast growing Warner Robins, Robins AFB, Interstate 75, 475 & 16. Close to atlanta and there is so much Development in Macon. Macon has huge development spawling going on at every end!

-North Macon Projects- Market place at Bass-400,000sq, North Winds square-144,000sq, The Open air Mall- the shoppees at River crossing-750,00sq. lull water Village-284,00sq, Bass plantion, providence town centre and Enclave at New Forysth-20370sq.

-West Macon Projects- Zebulon Rd widen to 4 lanes, Macon 3nd Walmart 2and Lowe's oppus Shoppes and Hotel and apartments developments.

-South Macon Projects- Harltey station retail & commerical, residential developments, Sara less plant, khol's DC, Nicnochi plant

-Downtown Macon Projects- a New convention 4 star hotel, An entire city block in the heart of downtown is about to be redeveloped into retail stores, offices and 7 luxury condominuims,Riverside Development, Terminal Station Project( Greyhound, Train & Macon Transit Head Quarters) The Beall's Hill project which is the largest of its kind in the state outside Atlanta.

-Macon to Atlanta passager rail project.

- Proposed interstate 14

- Plans for the I-75/I-16 interchange

Watch out Columbus, Augusta and Savannah because Macon is working hard to claim number 2 in Georgia.

Any opinions!

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I agree, Macon does have alot of things going for it right now, however, what makes you think Augusta, Columbus or Savannah, (or even Athens for that matter) doesnt have the same growth and development? Macon seems to be outpacing the other middle cities in growth rates....but just barely. And Most of that is from Warner Robbins. Augusta is fast growing as well and Columbus may take the lead in growth in the next couple of years with all if the new workers at Fort Benning coming in. Savannah, (and the Georgia coast in general) is about to take off too...mark my words. They are predicting, what, nearly a million new residents in the Georgia coast in the next couple of decades? That will blow us all away!

And as far as the projects, I can name a duplicate project, (In Augusta) for just about every one you mentioned in Macon. The Villages at Riverwatch Lifestyle Center, The Forum Lifestyle Center, Augusta Mall Lifestyle center expansion. All of these in West Augusta and combined nearly 1.5 million sq. ft. of shopping. The suburb of Evans, too, is growing beyond belief with probably close to 800,000 sq. ft. of shopping planned or UC. (5th metro Lowes and possibly 3rd metro Home Depot plus much more retail in the works.) Marshall sq. in Evans, a mixed use project, Hammonds Ferry in North Augusta, another Mixed-Use (and grand at that!) Downtown projects like the 2, 10 floor condo towers, the new Judicail Center, bankrupcy courthouse and 100,000 sq. ft. library. Possible new hotel at Golf hall of fame, Canal redevelopment, etc etc. And our road projects including widening of I-20, new spaghetti junction interchange at I-20 and I-520 and the Palmetto parkway expansion in North Augusta, both projects starting next year. And that is not all. im not saying Macon cant rise above the other cities but it wont be in the near future, at least. Macon is growing but all of the other cities are too..

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I agree, Macon does have alot of things going for it right now, however, what makes you think Augusta, Columbus or Savannah, (or even Athens for that matter) doesnt have the same growth and development? Macon seems to be outpacing the other middle cities in growth rates....but just barely. And Most of that is from Warner Robbins. Augusta is fast growing as well and Columbus may take the lead in growth in the next couple of years with all if the new workers at Fort Benning coming in. Savannah, (and the Georgia coast in general) is about to take off too...mark my words. They are predicting, what, nearly a million new residents in the Georgia coast in the next couple of decades? That will blow us all away!

And as far as the projects, I can name a duplicate project, (In Augusta) for just about every one you mentioned in Macon. The Villages at Riverwatch Lifestyle Center, The Forum Lifestyle Center, Augusta Mall Lifestyle center expansion. All of these in West Augusta and combined nearly 1.5 million sq. ft. of shopping. The suburb of Evans, too, is growing beyond belief with probably close to 800,000 sq. ft. of shopping planned or UC. (5th metro Lowes and possibly 3rd metro Home Depot plus much more retail in the works.) Marshall sq. in Evans, a mixed use project, Hammonds Ferry in North Augusta, another Mixed-Use (and grand at that!) Downtown projects like the 2, 10 floor condo towers, the new Judicail Center, bankrupcy courthouse and 100,000 sq. ft. library. Possible new hotel at Golf hall of fame, Canal redevelopment, etc etc. And our road projects including widening of I-20, new spaghetti junction interchange at I-20 and I-520 and the Palmetto parkway expansion in North Augusta, both projects starting next year. And that is not all. im not saying Macon cant rise above the other cities but it wont be in the near future, at least. Macon is growing but all of the other cities are too..

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First let me say that Macon isn't really in the mindset right now of actualluy being a Metropolitan Area right now like Augusta is. Its kinda still Macon and Middle Ga instead of the Macon Metro. Now I understand fully that while Macon is growing by leaps and bounds. Other Ga cities aren't just standing by. They have their own projects going on too but everyone else project list is put together on a metro basis, as u included evans and maybe martinez. macons project list never even mentions projects in houston, jones, or moroe couties. all among ga fastest growing counties. as a matter of fact most ppl on here are quick to separate growth in Warner Robins from growth in Macon even though we are the same metro. I PROMISE u that the Macon/WR Metro has more square footage of proposed and underconstruction development

than any other metro outside of Atlanta. Bibb county has atleast 5 million sqft. of new retail and office space going up. (not to mention Macon's recent popularity among companys for Logistics Centers.) Now take that 5 million sqft. and consider that Bibb County is only the Fourth fastest growing county in the metro out of 7 counties. Do you think counties 1-3 (houston, monroe, jones) are sleeping? Let me tell you, they aren't . Everyone kniw about WR booming along with the Base. Monroe is feeding off of North Macon from the south and Suburban atlanta from the north, and Jones is growing just as fast. I think the only thing that is holding Macon back is that other cities (Augusta, Columbus,) have a more progressive "big city" midset while Macon is still stuck in the age of when most of these historic houses were built. when we get youthful leadership in our government that can move the Macon Area as a whole forward, Watch out GA!

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First let me say that Macon isn't really in the mindset right now of actualluy being a Metropolitan Area right now like Augusta is. Its kinda still Macon and Middle Ga instead of the Macon Metro. Now I understand fully that while Macon is growing by leaps and bounds. Other Ga cities aren't just standing by. They have their own projects going on too but everyone else project list is put together on a metro basis, as u included evans and maybe martinez. macons project list never even mentions projects in houston, jones, or moroe couties. all among ga fastest growing counties. as a matter of fact most ppl on here are quick to separate growth in Warner Robins from growth in Macon even though we are the same metro. I PROMISE u that the Macon/WR Metro has more square footage of proposed and underconstruction development

than any other metro outside of Atlanta. Bibb county has atleast 5 million sqft. of new retail and office space going up. (not to mention Macon's recent popularity among companys for Logistics Centers.) Now take that 5 million sqft. and consider that Bibb County is only the Fourth fastest growing county in the metro out of 7 counties. Do you think counties 1-3 (houston, monroe, jones) are sleeping? Let me tell you, they aren't . Everyone kniw about WR booming along with the Base. Monroe is feeding off of North Macon from the south and Suburban atlanta from the north, and Jones is growing just as fast. I think the only thing that is holding Macon back is that other cities (Augusta, Columbus,) have a more progressive "big city" midset while Macon is still stuck in the age of when most of these historic houses were built. when we get youthful leadership in our government that can move the Macon Area as a whole forward, Watch out GA!

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I understand what both of you guys are saying about Macon. 5 million is ALOT of retail space. There is no way Augusta metro is building that much. In the city itself I can only think of 800,000 +/- UC and another 3-400,000 planned. Not considering a power center that is planned in south Augusta that may or may not come into existance with (Im guessing) 500,000 more sq. ft. Evans is a further out suburb and actually has less than that planned or UC, (more like 5-700,000 sq. ft.) North Augusta SC is an inner suburb and has seen tremendous growth in all sectors recently but I dont think any major retail is planned or UC right now except for maybe portions of Hammonds Ferry which will have retail spaces. Apart from that I think there may be some retail planned next to the new Lowes there, and a new grocery store here and a new mini strip mall there....Not much at all. Aiken is a different story and Im not too familar with whats going on there, (I think there may be a power center going up that way or so) but that would be about like Augustas version of Macons' Warner Robbins.

The main reason Evans and Martinez are added is because they are considered a part of Augusta. There is really no dividing line between these suburbs....it is a continous strip of commercial 17 miles or more from DT Augusta to the other side of Evans. The areas of Augusta that are getting new retail are areas opened up by new roads orginally meant to be parkland (The Villages at Riverwatch) and areas so tightly squeezed between roads and neighborhoods and Interstates that NIMBY's went crazy and fought tooth and nail, (The Forum). You wont find much more avialable land in the inner suburbs because it is already ate up with Power Centers, strip malls, Office parks, subdivisions, hospitals, and the like.

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Does anyone from Macon believe the area can support that much development? I find it hard to believe. I think a lot of other existing developments will go out of business. Any thoughts?

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I'm not sure. Good luck to Macon with all these developments. I don't know what to say of Augusta. I just want our quality of life to improve and for it to be a good town (which it is). One ray of good news is that we're getting 1,000 new jobs next year---and it's in Richmond County.

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Yes, best of luck to Mactown. If they do survive all this new retail, then we'll have a good model for the rest of Georgia.

Some questions I do have, to maybe shift the discussion: does anyone think or believe that maybe some of North Macon's development boom is linked to Atlanta in ANY way? I mean, if Atlanta was not there or not as massive and overbearing to GA, then would they still have this much development? and even if they did, would it be there in NORTH Macon? Why not inbetween or centrally located to Macon & WR?

It's funny because recently I've seen Atlanta news and commercials mention Macon as "local" almost everyday. I never hear about Columbus and hardly ever Augusta or Savannah in this way. The ATL radio stations (MOST of them) are recieved in Macon, from what I hear also.

So yeah, if Atlanta didn't exist as it is today, would we still have this Macon, or any other GA city for that matter?

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These developments are not repetetive businesses. They aren't building five new krogers, walmarts, movie theatres. They are shops and dept stores that are new to the area. If we get a saks,bloomies, or w/e it wont shut down the JC Penny's at Macon Mall or cause them to relocate. Those are two totally diff. types of retail. Neither will a Pappadeaux's put a longhorn out of bussiness. Most of our retail/restaraunta are in areas that are experiencing the same type of growth so there wont be any reason for them to relocate. The new development will only compliment what already exists in the market.

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Same thing happened in Augusta when the nearly million sq. ft. Augusta Exchange opened 7-8 years ago on Wheeler road. Alot of existing retail (Best Buy, Pier 1, etc..) packed up and moved from the Wrightsboro road strip around the Augusta mall. Since then that area has recovered and seen new stores move in and the Mall is getting a lifestyle expansion. I think the only relocation for the UC Villages at Riverwatch will be the Dillards at National Hills. The one at Augusta Mall will be spared. I think most of the stores at the new lifestyle center will be completely new to the area though. I have a feeling Talbots and Chicos, traditional lifestyle center stores, will either move from Surrey Center or get second locations between the Villages and the Forum.

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I'm worried about Surrey Center the most. It's a small shopping center, really like a lifestyle center when you think about it. I hope it's not hurt too bad...

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^ I'm also concerned about the N. Augusta Belk store. That store and the National Hills Dillards (which will probably close) are the only free-standing (as in not in a mall) department stores left in the region. I wouldn't be surprised if the new Riverwatch store is considered a replacement for that one, which would leave N. Augusta without any non-Walmart department stores...

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Same thing happened in Augusta when the nearly million sq. ft. Augusta Exchange opened 7-8 years ago on Wheeler road. Alot of existing retail (Best Buy, Pier 1, etc..) packed up and moved from the Wrightsboro road strip around the Augusta mall. Since then that area has recovered and seen new stores move in and the Mall is getting a lifestyle expansion. I think the only relocation for the UC Villages at Riverwatch will be the Dillards at National Hills. The one at Augusta Mall will be spared. I think most of the stores at the new lifestyle center will be completely new to the area though. I have a feeling Talbots and Chicos, traditional lifestyle center stores, will either move from Surrey Center or get second locations between the Villages and the Forum.

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^ I'm also concerned about the N. Augusta Belk store. That store and the National Hills Dillards (which will probably close) are the only free-standing (as in not in a mall) department stores left in the region. I wouldn't be surprised if the new Riverwatch store is considered a replacement for that one, which would leave N. Augusta without any non-Walmart department stores...

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THERE IS A CHICO STORE IN MDTOWN MACON NOW. I HEARD RUMOR IN MACON'S NEW CENTER THER WILL BE A SAKS, BLOOMINGDALES & NORSTROM

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Actually, the Dillards and Belk that are coming to the Shoppes At River Place are moving from Macon Mall. And with the Belk purchase of Parisian, that probably means the mall will lose three of its six anchors. For Macon, that's relocated business, not new business. I'm hoping these supposedly upscale shoping areas WILL actually be upscale (not just upscale for Macon). I'm still waiting to see which local shops, restaurants, etc. close their current locations and move to NW Macon (Like Luigi's on Northside and Fuddruckers on Zebulon already have). There will be some. Talking to the developers I know, those Saks/Bloomingdales/Nordstroms rumors are just that... rumors. They've heard nothing at all credible concerning them.

But again, I thought New Coke was quite tasty... so take that for the two cents it's worth.

As for the Jones County growth mentioned in an earlier post... the growth in Jones County is very impressive. There's one problem, though. The growth is primarily residential, with fast food and a bit of retail and banks. County leaders are concerned that, without complimentary industrial growth, the county's tax burden will be shouldered almost totally by homeowners. That means tax increases. I believe county commissioners have talked about the possibility of constructing an industrial park to lure that much needed industry.

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Never thought about that in regard to North Augusta. That is weird. You know, I remember when Dillard bought out J.B. White (or was it White's????) and people always assumed that the Dillard's at National Hills would close. I'm suprised it lasted this long because it was one of the only freestanding Dillard's in the entire chain.

Um, okay, nothing against Macon, but I don't see any of those stores outside of Atlanta in this state.

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^ I'm also concerned about the N. Augusta Belk store. That store and the National Hills Dillards (which will probably close) are the only free-standing (as in not in a mall) department stores left in the region. I wouldn't be surprised if the new Riverwatch store is considered a replacement for that one, which would leave N. Augusta without any non-Walmart department stores...

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THERE IS A CHICO STORE IN MDTOWN MACON NOW. I HEARD RUMOR IN MACON'S NEW CENTER THER WILL BE A SAKS, BLOOMINGDALES & NORSTROM

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Augusta has had Chicos on and off for nearly 2 decades. The first one was Downtown at Port Royal and the next one was (and still is) at Surrey Center, an intown upscale lifestyle center. I have serious doubts about Saks, Bloomingdales and Nordstrom in Macon. They usually enter much larger markets. If they are planning on serving South Atlanta, they would build one in South Atlanta, not Macon. Dont count on these guys....seriously.

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Augusta has had Chicos on and off for nearly 2 decades. The first one was Downtown at Port Royal and the next one was (and still is) at Surrey Center, an intown upscale lifestyle center. I have serious doubts about Saks, Bloomingdales and Nordstrom in Macon. They usually enter much larger markets. If they are planning on serving South Atlanta, they would build one in South Atlanta, not Macon. Dont count on these guys....seriously.

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i don't doubt that because charleston SC, not much bigger than macon and they had a saks for years. So why not Macon.

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Macon is way to small to support any of those retailers. Charleston is much larger than Macon. It is also a tourist destination unlike Macon.

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Charleston's 3 county metro is around 800k, I think that is several 100k more than Macon & Warner-Robins. Also, Charleston has a large & established high income population in the city & some suburbs, larger than most cities it's size.

I don't think there is going to be another Atlanta, or comparable city in GA. And really - that is good.

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