October 24, 2020

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Downtown Macon Hyatt Area resort plans derailed by COVID-19

It was meant to be aspect of the Central Town Commons strategy supposed to revitalize the full block and advance downtown development

MACON, Ga. — Editor’s Observe: The movie in this story is from past coverage on the development undertaking.

As the downtown Macon Marriott hotel bond deal closed, one more big advancement undertaking misplaced bond funding as portion of the Central Town Commons venture.

Before this month, Macon-Bibb County and the City Growth Authority terminated their settlement with MMI-Thornton LLC that would have kicked off renovating and establishing a chunk of downtown Macon.

For many several years, the developers sought to remodel Poplar Road concerning Initially and 2nd streets and lengthen the improvement out to Plum Avenue and D.T. Walton Sr. Way.

Nearby leaders and tourism champions enthusiastically welcomed and supported the Central City Commons strategy of two new resorts, eating places, retailers and apartments revitalizing the full block and relocating downtown improvement farther west.

While a further developer is going to build a new Avid resort on Next Avenue, the Commons undertaking hasn’t been capable to get off the ground with the COVID-19 pandemic being the newest impediment.

“With the new Marriott job heading on across the street and COVID, it’s just not an opportune time to go on with more hotels in the market, specifically with that selling price position,” Miller Heath III, one particular of the partners in the Central Town Commons challenge, stated Tuesday.

In April 2019, the county and UDA agreed to situation $20 million in bonds to finance two parking decks – a single of which was crucial to securing a promised 122-area Hyatt Put lodge on Poplar.

Payment in Lieu of Taxes, or the PILOT method, would enable the bonds to be repaid through amplified property earnings and parking charges collected by means of the UDA, which would individual the decks.

Last year’s agreement permitted for events to terminate if the closing situations were not glad by April 17 of this 12 months, which they weren’t.

The termination letter still left the door open up for renegotiation for a new settlement to consider into consideration the revised development plans from MMI-Thornton LLC.

The joint undertaking among Tim Thornton, president of Thornton Realty Co., and Heath, CEO of MMI Money LLC, has been bandied about for various decades now.

Heath appeared before Macon-Bibb commissioners in late July, the similar working day they voted to difficulty bonds for the Marriott Tribute resort in the former Willie C. Hill annex skyscraper at Cotton Avenue and Cherry Road. That Marriott lodge deal also stalled when the coronavirus halted banks’ curiosity in financing anything similar to the hospitality sector.

This summer months, Heath and Thornton came back again to commissioners to talk to them to consider phasing in the progress. Rather of relocating forward with the whole venture, they initially want a parking deck designed behind Government Centre as portion of the D.T. Walton blended-use intricate which includes 93 residences and ground floor retail and eating places.

The new design will front Plum Street and stretching around the corner onto D.T. Walton Way, encompassing the current buildings at the corner.

The builders explained they secured financing for the lofts and 20,000 square feet of retail area.

Heath and Thornton say about $9 million is needed to make the 1st parking deck, which will offer 350 parking areas.

Heath reported Tuesday that he is actively performing with the UDA and the county to check out to arrive up with a approach to construct the initial deck and lofts at the time the market place recovers.

“Part of it is we’re hoping to wrestle with what COVID has finished to the market,” Heath claimed.

He hopes to be equipped to move on that “as soon as doable.”

The county is anxious to have a new parking deck that could present room for government staff and those people traveling to downtown and the City Auditorium.

Get in touch with Civic Reporting Senior Fellow Liz Fabian at 478-301-2976 or [email protected] 

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