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'This is historic': Macon mayor says $100M mall revitalization project to help bring city together

Mayor Lester Miller said it could also host the area's largest pickleball facility

MACON, Ga. — Bibb County is hoping for a new future for the Macon Mall and the city's Eisenhower Parkway corridor.

Wednesday, Hull Property Group, the owners of the mall, said they're donating the building to Macon-Bibb County.

Mayor Lester Miller announced Wednesday a $100 million investment and plans for a music amphitheater, hoping to spark a revitalization of Eisenhower Parkway.

Miller says he met his future wife at the Macon Mall.

He made a lot of memories and is very passionate about the area.

Miller said, "South Bibb County, Bibb County, this area has always been my home."

However, Miller says the city's Eisenhower Parkway corridor hasn't been being used to its full potential.

That's why he's happy about this project.

The $100 million includes the value of the mall, which its owners are donating to the county.

 "Not one additional tax penny will go into developing this project. This is a public, private project," Miller said.

Miller's plans include building a music amphitheater, and creating workspace for the film industry, government offices, and more retail.

All of those plans would move into the current mall building.

District 9 Commissioner Al Tillman is excited to see new life for the neighborhood.

"This side of town deserves and to be afforded the same opportunities as those living in other areas. This is a beautiful mall, this is a beautiful place. This is historic," Tillman said.

Miller says bringing the Eisenhower Parkway area back to life will help bring the city together.

"Macon has something to be excited about and it's in a different part of Macon. I meant what I said. Macon has been called, 'A Tale of Two Cities,' but we're one Macon. People are starting to take notice all across the state, the southeast part of United States. We're making a real impact. Macon is truly back, and we're back together," Miller said.

Miller gave one hint about those plans for the mall site -- it could also host the area's largest pickleball facility.

Executive director for the Eisenhower Business Improvement District Jamie Arnold says they're in the middle of a market study aimed at bringing in businesses. 

Bibb County says they have not selected a contractor or drawn up plans for that amphitheater, and they've not set a date to break ground.