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Property owners open to Eisenhower Pkwy tax plan | News

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Property owners open to Eisenhower Pkwy tax plan
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Changes could be coming to the Eisenhower Parkway corridor. Owners of the Macon Mall and elected officials want to improve the retail corridor.

Leaders seeking to designate Eisenhower Parkway as a community improvement district met with property owners Thursday night.

Mark Stevens, Regional Development Officer for Hull Storey Gibson Companies, the owner of the Macon Mall, said the goal is to revitalize the area and help bring back business.

"We do have challenges, I mean you've gotta get 75 percent of the assessed value of property owners to agree to a community improvement district," said Stevens.

By creating the CID, organizers would levy around a 1 to 5 mill increase on property owners within the district. That could create more than $400,000 a year in revenue. The money would be used for upgrades such as traffic flow improvements, changes in store entrances and the purchase of dilapidated hotels by I-475. It will also help to secure some state grants that require matching funds.

"We have had a number of property owners that own property up and down Eisenhower Parkway and there's a lot of interest," said Stevens.

Tim Hill, who owns the shops at Bloomfield, thinks the CID would be beneficial. "We built that center in 1987 and I have watched Eisenhower decline over the years," said Hill.

He believes all of the Eisenhower property owners need to stand behind the proposal. "We don't have a choice. We have got to improve this corridor. And it would not be that hard to do," he said.

The community improvement district, which would last six years, would be run a by a seven-member board that would be elected by business owners within the district. The seventh member would be appointed by local elected officials.

Organizers plan to follow-up soon with owners to get approval. If the majority of property owners agree to the possible plan, it would then go before the Macon-Bibb County Commission.


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