MACON, Ga. — Stores are opening this week at the new North Macon Plaza, but that means some of them are closing across town in an area that’s already been hit hard by the departure of big box retailers.

Empty parking lots and storefronts are a familiar sight for people at the Eisenhower Crossing shopping center.

According to Site Centers, the real estate company that owns the shopping center, 13 units are currently available to lease, and that number will only continue growing as more stores move across town to the North Macon Plaza.

“We still have Ashley Furniture, we still have Bed Bath and Beyond, we still have Old Navy — they're staying here,” said Tim Hughes with the Macon Chamber of Commerce.

Hughes says as some stores move out, that means there’s more space available for new ones.

“I don’t think that the spaces are going to sit vacant for very long,” he said.

But today, 13WMAZ called some of the big stores still left at Eisenhower Crossing to ask if they’re staying or leaving.

David’s Bridal says they’re moving, and will open the new location at North Macon Plaza on Nov. 7, 2019.

A Michael’s employee verified they’re moving to the new center off Bass Road in March 2020.

Old Navy says they’re staying, so there will now be two locations in Macon.

PetSmart also confirmed the location in west Macon will be closing for good, but the location on Riverside Drive will remain open.

As Hughes looks around the more than 700,000-square-foot space, he’s confident the shopping center will be filled once again.

“This shopping center is not going to sit vacant very long. There will be some businesses that move into this area,” he said.

Now there is also a Kroger, a Best Buy, and some other big businesses still over off Eisenhower and Presidential, but several people 13WMAZ spoke to off-camera said the area just "isn't what it used to be."

The new combined Marshalls and HomeGoods store will open Thursday, Sept. 12, at the North Macon Plaza.  A Five Below was the first store to open at the new shopping center earlier this month.

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