Business owners enthusiastic about Eisenhower Corridor project

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – A plan is in place to bring more people, more shopping, more jobs, and more business to Eisenhower Parkway in Macon. Officials say 50% of retail sales in Bibb County happen there and it’s time to make the area look the part.  

A rainy day couldn’t stop the bright, sunny outlook business owners have about the future of Eisenhower Parkway.

“They’re excited, and I think they’re excited about some changes that can take place on that corridor,” Mark Stevens, the CEO of the Macon Mall, said. 
He says the ball is rolling to create a community improvement district in the Eisenhower Corridor. 
“I don’t think people realize how valuable that corridor is,” Stevens said. 
“Stevens says he wants to get rid of blighted areas like this one to start to make more attractive facilities. He says because of the thousands of cars that hit Eisenhower Parkway every day, he’d like to see more people enjoy the area.”
It starts with business owners approving an increase in their property taxes. 
An assessed value of all the property on Eisenhower Parkway must be added up, you take 40% of that number, and then you have 75% of that number to approve the community improvement district.  
“In addition to that, you have to have 50% plus one, or a majority, of all property owners to approve,” Stevens said. 
Stevens thinks it’ll all center around the Macon Mall, the “anchor” of the corridor. 
“Then you’ve got businesses east and west up and down Eisenhower Parkway. The mall, someone has to take the initiative to get this started,” Stevens said. 
He says business owners are all for it too.
“Everybody seems to be really excited about this and willing to pay a little more tax for the benefit that they’ll derive from it,” Stevens said. 

The next step is to get the business owners to consent to an additional tax. Stevens says they *have to have the consent orders certified by the tax commissioner by June 30th.

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