WARNER ROBINS, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – After five years, the city of Warner Robins is moving forward with a plan to create a central downtown location.
Last week, the city held a public hearing to go over the new plan and on Wednesday, city officials sat down with architects to sketch out the future of the city.
Warner Robins Redevelopment Agency Executive Director Gary Lee drafted the document to turn Commercial Circle into a central downtown location, targeting college students. The agency is working to move more coffee shops and boutiques in. The goal is to create walkability between Commercial Circle, Warner Robins City Hall and Robins Air Force Base and connect the city as a whole.
"It's an education hub," Lee said, "we want to create this area to be more viable for student activity."
The city has already began implementing some of the projects short and long-term goals. The new law enforcement center is just one of them.
"It's influential to this development," said Warner Robins Mayor Chuck Shaheen, "it's the biggest project in the city's history. It's sparked a lot this economic development."
Now officials are meeting with hotel developers to build a convention center next city hall. The recreation department will be moved to a different location.
"We are taking down substantial building in that area," Lee said.
Gena Deboe owns the Chic Boutique located in the heart of Commercial Circle. Deboe has also waited years to get this project off the ground. She says she's always believed Commercial Circle would thrive.
"People are starting to see the progress now," Deboe said, "and we are excited to see what the efforts we put into are coming to light."
This plan is estimated to cost about $30 million. City officials are currently talking about creating a new tax allocation district to help fund the new projects.