Breaking News
More () »

'It invites people out': Downtown Macon businesses react to Cotton Avenue plaza's new look

Work started on the plaza in November after the removal of a century-old Confederate statue.

MACON, Ga. — The corner of Second Street and Cotton Avenue in downtown Macon has seen a lot of change since last June.

That's when construction crews moved a century-old Confederate statue from the area. Shortly after, the county started work on expanding the plaza they call 'Triangle Park.'

Now, work on the plaza is mostly complete.

"It's nice to see the park is mostly finished," Bulmaro Barrigan, who owns a restaurant nearby said.

When he says 'see,' he means he can really see. Barrigan and his wife run a restaurant right across the street from the plaza.

"Very good clientele, loyal following, and really good customers. We love downtown," Barrigan said.

He says he's glad to see the space across the street converted into something everyone can use.

"It's a great thing to have because it invites people out into the open spaces," Barrigan said.

Colin Penndorf says the space goes a long way toward making downtown Macon more welcoming.

"It still feels a little bit historic and certainly still kind of represents the space that it once was, but still gives it new life," Penndorf said.

He runs a pop-up art gallery a few doors down. As an artist, he believes the plaza should be home to a new statue that represents all of Macon.

"Something that is visually stunning. Something that is colorful. Something that is vibrant, that is positive, that is promising, that is new and energetic and unique," he said.

Barrigan says it's a great space, but he has a couple suggestions he says would help his business.

"All we need, maybe some lights and a crosswalk to be drawn. And somebody to take these orange cones," he said.

In November, the county estimated the plaza work would cost about $650,000 with some of the money coming from SPLOST funds.

Barrigan says he's looking forward to organizing events in the plaza with other area businesses.

Before You Leave, Check This Out