In 1998, Starcadia -- a small amusement park -- was built off Bass Road and it was one of the first businesses in the area.
While the area continues to grow, the old entertainment center still sits vacant, passed over for years by developers.
Go carts whizzed by, baseballs flew and putts missed the hole for 11 years after Beverly Knight Olsen opened Starcadia Entertainment Park in north Macon.
“It was just pristine, it had never been touched before,” Olsen said.
When it was built, Olsen says it was the only business going off that stretch of Bass Road.
“It was hard for people to get to,” Olsen said. “It was hard to remember that it was here, unless they saw it advertised all the time.”
After a few years, development moved in around Starcadia.
Construction began in 2005 on Bass Pro Shops across the road, at the Shoppe’s at River Crossing in 2007 and eventually, the Publix shopping center across the interstate in 2008. Big business bypassed Starcadia Circle.
“We were hoping they would see the other development growing at the little strip center, and then the bank on the corner, but nothing ever came of it,” Olsen said. “We don’t know why.”
Lucky Punjabi's business is located in that strip center.
He's owned Bass Road Package since 2007, it’s at the corner of Starcadia Circle and Bass Road.
“There was nothing out here, so I wanted to start my own,” Punjabi said.
He hoped more development would follow him.
“The Target was going to come behind us, but as soon as the time came they said the deal didn’t go through,” Punjabi said.
During the economic downturn in 2008, development and recreation, like the amusement park took a hard hit.
“It was not possible after a while,” Olsen said.
She still owns the 10-acre Starcadia property valued at nearly $2.5 million, and she hasn’t found a buyer.
Most of the other 40-plus acres on Starcadia Circle, she sold to Fickling & Company.
“We sold a little strip center on the front side of Bass Road hoping that building would bring attention, it never did,” Olsen said.
That land has all been cleared. Fickling & Company say they're ready for retailers, but eight years after Starcadia shut down, no new businesses have opened up in its spot.
“They are trying, but nothing is on paper yet,” Punjabi said.
Olsen remains optimistic that 'for sale' signs will soon be replaced with new signs on new storefronts.
“Starcadia is now just a shell of itself, and I wish I could do something about it,” Olsen said.
She says her dreams for this place faded long ago, but that doesn't mean someone else's can't come to life on this same property someone else’s.
J-Christopher and Christ Chapel Macon are the only two businesses currently operating on Starcadia Circle.
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