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'Tall buildings would be great': City of Warner Robins working to create downtown

You can learn more about their plans at the next public hearing Tuesday at 5 p.m. at City Hall.

WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — What comes to your mind when you think of an ideal downtown area? The City of Warner Robins is still working out designs to meet their goals for the Commercial Circle area.

Earlier this month, the city announced they purchased about 60% of their target area.

The next step is to make some adjustments to the city code.

A few things come to Deborah Thomas’ mind for an ideal downtown space.

“Tall buildings would be great,” Thomas said.

Thomas says that the atmosphere must be cozy with places like a park and lots of retail options.

“Restaurants, clothing stores, shopping malls, and hair stores,” Thomas said.

Her requests are partially in line with The City of Warner Robins, but their big goal is uniformity. 

And it could be a big challenge.

“The RDA design guidelines from 2015 had two different distinctions for how the area should be developed,” Community and Economic Development Director Kate Hogan said. “We’ve got a seamless guide as far as how we want the redevelopment to go to create a unified downtown district."

She says that look includes things like two-story buildings and walking paths.

“Also wanting to have some good guidelines for amenity areas and public art,” Hogan said.

Hogan says these guidelines will only impact new developments as they begin to demolish old property, not current business.

“Currently the design guidelines are for new incoming development, so if there's a substantial change to the building, then that’s when it would trigger having to bring it up to the new design guidelines,” Hogan said.

Mayor LaRhonda Patrick tells 13WMAZ that as the city prepares to place overlays in the area, business will still be able to continue.

You can get more information at their public hearing on Tuesday at 5 p.m. at the City Hall building.

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