Macon-Bibb County is continuing its attack on blight on Monday, March 20, at 11:00 a.m. by demolishing nine houses on Wise Avenue. This is the first phase of demolitions that will begin clearing that area to make way for a new multipurpose field to serve the Pleasant Hill neighborhood. The second phase includes nine structures. Being torn down in the first phase are: 1422, 1446, 1496, 1493, 1488, 1487, 1468, 1465, and 1445 Wise Avenue.
In the past several several months, 36 structures have been torn down as part of Macon-Bibb’s Blight Remediation Program. Each has been focused on a specific area or done in combination with another project so the funds and demolitions would have a greater impact on a community. In previous years, Macon-Bibb tore down single houses across the county, but after visiting cities successfully attacking blight and spurring revitalization, they learned a better effort was to tear down groups of blighted homes in the same neighborhood. That effort would also be much more sustainable if it were tied in with another project that would put something in the neighborhood where the houses once stood.
In early March, two houses in District 9 on Mercer Street were torn down to clear the area where a new fire station and sheriff’s precinct (4036 Napier Avenue) will be built; five more structures in that area are slated to be torn down to help improve public safety. The new fire station will replace the Breezy Hill station on Forsyth Street, and the precinct will replace the one currently located at 600 Pio Nono Avenue. Construction will be paid for with an estimated $2,250,000 in voter-approved Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) funds.
Last month, Macon-Bibb completed the second round of its Blight Remediation Program with the demolition of 19 structures. This round of demolitions were part of seven Blight Remediation Projects: Lynmore Estate Habitat Project (2 blighted structures); Lynmore Avenue SMART Project (7 blighted structures); Emily Street Blight Removal Project (2 blighted structures); West Bond Street Blight Removal Project (2 blighted structures); Kings Park Playground & Community Center Project (2 existing structures); Third Avenue Stabilization Project (2 blighted structures); and Culver Street Commons Project (2 blighted structures). For the Lynmore Avenue Project, the goal is to build a park for the neighborhood, and the goal for the Kings Park Project is to build a new community center for the neighborhood to use.
The first round of the Blight Remediation Program tore down 15 structures and was funded with $642,870 from District 1, 2, 4, and 5 funds. It included:
- The demolition of 13 structures in and acquiring five vacant lots for the Lynmore Estates Habitat Project;
- Acquiring one property and demolishing a structure for the Lynmore Avenue SMART Project; and
- Demolishing an abandoned restroom structure for the Hillcrest Park Improvement Project.