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People in east Macon's Fort Hawkins neighborhood split on proposed shopping center

If the construction gets approved, crews would demolish or relocate two homes in the Fort Hawkins neighborhood
Credit: Planning and Zoning

MACON, Ga. — Correction: A previous version of the story contained the wrong hearing date. It will be discussed in the April 12, 2021 meeting.

A proposal headed for the Macon-Bibb Planning and Zoning Board would put a shopping center in east Macon, but not everyone who lives in a nearby historic neighborhood is not happy about it.

If the construction gets approved, crews would demolish or relocate two homes in the Fort Hawkins neighborhood. One neighbor said he doesn’t mind the progress of a shopping center; another says she’s not a fan.

Willie James has lived in the Fort Hawkins neighborhood for 43 years.

“It’s definitely changing and we’ve had to adjust to it,” he said.

Less than a quarter of a mile from his house, crews are putting in a convenience store. Go on another quarter-mile from that and just off Coliseum Drive sits land that could be converted to a shopping center.

“At first there was some resistance on it, but with progress… sometimes you can’t fight it,” said James.

He’s the type of guy who goes the planning and zoning meetings. 

“It might be a good thing for this area,” he said.

Shannon Perches bought a Victorian house at Church and Garden Street. She says the convenience store caused her property value to plummet because it’s now what you see when you look out her bay window.

"That shopping center will also be visible from my house and visible from many, many homes in the neighborhood, and it's to the extreme detriment of the neighborhood," she said.

13WMAZ reached out to Kunj Construction for comment on this story, but they declined.

During the pandemic, you can still attend planning and zoning meetings online. You do have to register in advance and they will send a link to your email. You can find more information here.

The item was deferred by the applicant until April 12.

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