The Lofts at Mercer Village Announces First Floor Retailers

April 22, 2010

Media Contact:
Jessica Walden
(478) 301-2004

MACON – Sierra Development announced today the retailers that will occupy the first floor of the Lofts at Mercer Village during a groundbreaking ceremony for the multi-million dollar mixed-use development on Montpelier Avenue in the College Hill Corridor. Joining the Barnes & Noble at Mercer University are three local businesses that have leased the remaining retail space. They are Fountain of Juice, Margarita’s Mexican Grill and Designer Tan.

To watch video of the groundbreaking, go>.

All three businesses are opening additional locations and are owned and operated by local proprietors Natasha and Carl Phillips of Fountain of Juice; Rafael Rodriguez of Margarita’s Mexican Grill; and Nicole Ramsbottom, of Designer Tan. The new locations will create approximately 36 new jobs in the area.

Sierra Development President Jim Daws said he received immediate interest in the retail space when the development was announced late last year. “We were actually able to choose the retailers who would create the best mix for the vision of a vibrant place to live and hang out,” he said. “The retailers, including those already established in Mercer Village, will be able to feed off each other’s success and create a destination area on Macon’s map.”

The businesses also further connect the College Hill Corridor to downtown with Fountain of Juice already planning to offer food delivery to the Medical Center of Central Georgia and other downtown employers.

The Mercer Bookstore, operated by Barnes & Noble, will move from its current location in Penfield Hall on the interior of campus and will take up approximately half of the retail space in The Lofts at Mercer Village.

The Lofts at Mercer Village will be located on Montpelier Avenue across from Ingleside Village Pizza and Jittery Joe’s Coffee. The first floor will have approximately 13,750 square feet of retail space and the top three floors will house up to 117 students in three- and four-bedroom, loft-style apartments that reflect a sleek, urban design. It has been designed to create a vibrant streetscape, enhancing the recent retail development in Mercer Village, which in addition to Ingleside Village Pizza and Jittery Joe’s Coffee, houses Francar’s Buffalo Wings, Georgia Public Broadcasting studios and offices for the College Hill Alliance.

Each bedroom in the loft apartments will have its own bathroom, and the units will feature nine- to 10-foot ceilings, acid-stained concrete floors, accent brick walls and exposed ductwork with large windows in common living areas. The kitchens and bathrooms will have upgraded features such as granite countertops, and each apartment will have its own washer and dryer.

The University’s arrangement with the developers is similar to the one Mercer made with developers of the Hilton Garden Inn five years ago. The University is providing the land and the developers are putting up the structure and will lease the apartment units and retail space, provide facility maintenance and manage the residential operations. The Lofts at Mercer Village will cater to Mercer’s graduate and professional students, as well as upperclass undergraduate students who do not live in University-operated campus housing.

Construction on The Lofts at Mercer Village has begun and the bookstore is scheduled to move into its space in December 2010. The first apartment units should be ready for occupancy in January 2011, with full occupancy anticipated in Fall 2011.

About Mercer University
Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. The University enrolls more than 8,000 students in 11 schools and colleges – liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing and continuing and professional studies – on major campuses in Macon, Atlanta and Savannah and at three regional academic centers across the state. Mercer is affiliated with two teaching hospitals — Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah and the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon, and has educational partnerships with Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta. The University operates an academic press and a performing arts center in Macon and an engineering research center in Warner Robins. Mercer is the only private university in Georgia to field an NCAA Division I athletic program. For more information, visit www.mercer.edu.

About Sierra Development
Sierra Development specializes in lifestyle-rich multi-family developments throughout the Southeast. By combining top-tier talent with a solid reputation, Sierra Development has become a premier multi-family development company, offering a collection of stunning new landmarks thoughtfully located in upscale niche markets. With properties recognized for their prime locations and enduring standards, Sierra’s communities are synonymous with quality, luxury and exceptional value. Sierra Development transforms ideas and dreams into reality.

About Piedmont Construction Group
Founded by David Thompson and Scott Thompson in 1995, Piedmont Construction Group has evolved into an award-winning, full-service general contractor, construction management and design/build firm with offices in Atlanta, Canton and Macon, Ga. The company’s primary focus is to deliver exemplary construction and management services for clients in the pre/K-12, higher education, institutional, medical, office, light industrial and exhibit sectors; and provide assistance from design commencement, through construction, close-out and final occupancy.

About the College Hill Corridor 
The College Hill Corridor’s goal is to restore the social and physical fabric between the Mercer campus and downtown Macon, while adding economic value to the city’s tax base, beautifying residential and commercial areas, attracting and retaining creative young professionals and program fun public events. The College Hill Corridor Commission serves as the community advisory board to the College Hill Alliance and is a diverse organization appointed jointly by the City of Macon and Mercer. For more information, visit www.collegehillmacon.com.


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