MACON – The College Hill Alliance hosted a grand opening for the Lofts at Mercer Village yesterday during a special event for the multimillion-dollar development located on Montpelier Avenue in the College Hill Corridor. Macon Mayor Robert Reichert, Mercer University President William D. Underwood and Sierra Development President Jim Daws all spoke at the event and underscored the importance of this new addition to the Corridor. The ceremony also served as the official opening for three of the Lofts retailers – Designer Tan, Fountain of Juice and Margaritas at Mercer Village.
The highly anticipated opening of the Lofts, which also houses Barnes and Noble/Mercer University Bookstore and 117 student apartments, culminates the collaboration between the University and Sierra Development.
“I’m thrilled with this mixed-use development,” said Mayor Reichert. “With retail on the ground floor and residential on the upper floors, the Lofts is a perfect example of the type of growth that Macon and downtown needs. Mercer University and Sierra Development have done an outstanding job with this project and with the redevelopment of this entire block and it is certainly something we can all be proud of.”
The project is a realization of recommendations made in the College Hill Corridor Master Plan, which calls for the addition of density and a mix of uses in Mercer Village to develop a unique retail destination in the Corridor. The area serves as a critical link between Mercer’s campus and the surrounding neighborhoods by acting as a common gathering point and, as local businesses have populated Mercer Village, has become a vibrant, urban street.
"When we first became aware of the Master Plan for the College Hill Corridor, and as we began to understand the vision of President Underwood, the City of Macon and the College Hill Alliance, we were determined to become a part of this exciting project,” said Sierra Development President Jim Daws. “I am very grateful to Mercer University and in particular President Underwood, Jim Netherton and Bill Solomon for giving us the opportunity to develop this project. It is always exciting when a plan comes together and a dream becomes a reality."
The Lofts joins other pioneering Mercer Village merchants in the College Hill movement to connect Mercer’s campus to downtown Macon and make the area attractive to students and young professionals, including Rodeo Beach Outfitters, Francar’s Buffalo Wings, Jittery Joe’s Coffee and Ingleside Village Pizza. Every third Thursday of the month these retailers hold a block party in Mercer Village to encourage students and residents to visit the area. The grand opening of the Lofts was held in conjunction with a special Back to School Bash event in the Village designed to welcome the new retailers and new students to the Corridor and create a street party atmosphere.
"The Lofts at Mercer Village is a tremendous addition to the Mercer campus and to the College Hill Corridor. I am grateful to Jim Daws at Sierra Development, David Thompson at Piedmont Construction, and the leadership at State Bank & Trust for making this possible,” said Mercer President William D. Underwood. “Their creativity and diligence in pursuing and carrying out this project is a visible testament to the power of the College Hill Corridor initiative.”
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 8,200 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 four 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 multifamily developments throughout the Southeast. By combining top-tier talent with a solid reputation, Sierra Development has become a premier multifamily 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 the College Hill Corridor
The goal of College Hill Corridor initiative is to restore the social and physical fabric between the Mercer University 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 programming fun public events. The College Hill Alliance is charged with implementing the recommendations of a community-guided master plan and is guided by a seven-member Steering Committee and the College Hill Corridor Commission, a diverse organization whose members are jointly appointed by the City of Macon and Mercer. For more information, visit www.collegehillmacon.com.