A Macon business owner says it's time for a change after nearly a decade of dealing with blight right next door
The sign on A& R Furniture's front door lets passersby know its open for business, but the lots next door and across the street tell a very different story.
"I was shocked, surprised whatever you want to say when Taco Bell just closed down," business owner Abraham Abu Aziza said.
Abu Aziza says he opened his store on Eisenhower Parkway and has been neighbors with blight ever since.
"If somebody would be responsible just to clean this part here just make Eisenhower look a lot better than what it is. I wish somebody would be responsible for that just to keep Eisenhower as clean as they can because it really does make a difference," he said.
That's exactly why Macon-Bibb commissioners approved a community improvement district.
Commissioner Al Tillman says, "I think it's necessary because you want to have the same thing in your area that other parts of town."
Right now, about 35 percent of the required 75 percent of property owners have signed on.
Hull Storey Gibson owns the Macon mall. Its Regional Development Officer says that hesitation to participate is due in part to an increase in taxes that would be required to cover the re-vamp.
"People say "Hey, wait a minute. I don't want to pay an additional five mills in tax. I already pay a lot of tax, but when they realize the benefits that come from that then they have a different perspective on it," said Mark Stevens, who signed off on behalf of the Macon Mall.
The revamp would include grass being maintained,abandoned buildings being torn down and an overall mission to make the area look more uniform.
Abu Aziza says whatever it takes to turn Eisenhower around is money well spent.