MACON, Ga. — A Macon building many call an eyesore along I-16 could get new life after next week's Planning and Zoning Commission meeting.
The old office building at 776 Baconsfield Drive was once one of the most blighted structures in Macon-Bibb County. Now, with a new roof, the owner wants to make it a place people can call home.
Neil Barker lives in the neighborhood around the building.
"It's not in very good shape," Barker said. "I'm surprised anyone would want to do anything with it. I almost expect it to be torn down and start over."
What was once an eyesore now has a new roof. The owner has new plans for the future: 62 apartment units. Macon-Bibb Mayor Lester Miller says after the Baconsfield Building caught fire a couple times, they had plans to tear it down; but the building's owner, Ashok Patel, said he'd fix it up.
"It's one of the top 10 blighted properties in Macon-Bibb County, so we wanted to do something about it. It's the first thing you see when you get off the interstate. People traveling through," Miller said.
According to Patel's application, Baconsfield Apartments will feature one, two and three-bedroom units. The mayor says the renovation will help Macon feel more welcoming.
"We're looking forward to the day that blighted structure that just a short time ago becomes something that we can be proud of in Macon, and I think this is probably the best use for that property," Miller said.
Barker says he hopes it's done well.
"I hope it's done well and that they make it, that they put it in good condition," Barker said. "Make it good for the neighborhood because like I said, it's been an eyesore for a long time."
The plans for the building, which also include 144 parking spots for future tenants, are set to go before the Macon-Bibb Planning and Zoning Commission Monday.
Patel was not available for comment.