Keeping up with downtown Macon loft demands
MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – As more restaurants and businesses move into downtown Macon, so are residents.
Newtown Macon says they can’t build loft apartments fast enough to keep up with the demand.
In downtown Macon, there are 651 loft apartments. According to Newtown Macon, that’s just not enough.
Newtown checks loft vacancies monthly.
Josh Rogers with Newtown Macon says only 22 out of the 651 lofts are unoccupied. However, he says most of the time, those vacancies come from people who frequently move in and out.
Christele Parham calls downtown Macon “home.”
“I love it,” she said. “I feel like I should [have] moved here a long time ago.”
Parham and her husband relocated to the downtown area this summer from north Macon. Because she works downtown, she says it just made sense to move.
“It’s very convenient because most of our work meetings are [within] walking distance,” Parham said. “It actually helped. I barely use my car.”
Rogers says millennials, like Parham, take up 70-percent of the loft apartments. However, that’s changing.
“The fastest growing demographic downtown is retirees, baby boomers. A lot of them want to have the same amenities as everyone else and that’s to walk, eat, and drink,” Rogers said.
He adds, the demand to live downtown is high.
“In 2011, we did a market study and said we can fill 200 units of lofts a year,” Roger said. “That year, 11 got built. Last year, we built 89. We’re just not building them fast enough.”
This means rent goes up, too
“If demand is more than supply, then prices go up,” Rogers said. “You see our occupancy is really high and the unit costs are really expensive. There just aren’t enough out there.”
Rogers says adding more storefronts is the best strategy to building lofts.
According to Newtown Macon’s study, downtown Macon is booming with new business. 45 businesses have opened since 2015, creating 128 new jobs.