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West Macon residents hoping $100M mall project brings new life to the area

Mayor Lester Miller announced a $100 million plan on Wednesday afternoon to boost the Macon Mall and Eisenhower Parkway areas.

MACON, Ga. — To folks living in west Macon, the old Macon Mall holds years worth of memories.

"People from Savannah, Warner Robins, from Twiggs County, from Milledgeville, it was like a cultural hub for Middle Georgia because a lot of those smaller areas, they don't really have a mall," says business owner and west Macon resident LJ Malone.

For Habersham Records owner LJ Malone, it was also an important stream of profit.

"Habersham Records, we been here 50 years. The Macon Mall was also a major hub for our business here, so before and after people would leave the mall, they would come here," he says.

Wednesday's announcement of Bibb leaders' plan to revitalize the old mall is a big deal for Malone, and for Antonio Redding, too.

Redding has lived here for more than 50 years. He says for the last decade or so, it felt like his neighborhood was being neglected.

"It's like they're leaving us out. It's like we're nobody right here. They're putting everything on Riverside, Northside Drive. It's like, 'What about us?'"

The multimillion-dollar plan includes an adding an amphitheater, restaurants, shopping, and more. 

Redding says it sounds similar to his childhood.

"It's wonderful -- that way, my kids, everybody else's kids can see the things that we seen, see the things that we did, have the fun that we had," says Redding.

Malone says he's excited about the plan, and wants the community to get involved along the way.

"It shows intentionality. Most of the development happening right now is happening is downtown Macon or north Macon," says Malone.

In Wednesday's announcement, Mayor Lester Miller says there's no timetable for when this will be started or completed.

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