Mercer Village movie theatre, apartment complexes, blighted house go before P&Z


Liz Fabian

Macon-Bibb County Planning and Zoning commissioners will consider a 90-seat, dine-in movie theatre with beer garden on Linden Avenue in Mercer Village.

A dine-in, 90-seat theatre with a beer garden near downtown Macon is one of several items seeking approval Monday from the Macon-Bibb County Planning and Zoning Commission.

Applicant Carl Fambro of Francar’s Buffalo Wings seeks conditional approval for the Black Bear Theatre at 1365 Linden Ave. in Mercer Village.

Fambro, Mercer professor and movie buff Jay Black and software developer William Ackerman want to provide table seating for second-run movies, independent productions and foreign films while allowing for social distancing.

The group’s target audience is families and young, educated adults, according to the application.

The old Indigo salon location that runs along Coleman Avenue provides little room for a lobby, so the businessmen plan to build the outdoor beer garden near the Mercer Village water fountain that fronts Montpelier Avenue.

The theatre’s operating hours were not included in the application, but the space could also be rented for private screenings and other gatherings.

Luxury Living off Riverside

Two resort-style pools with a splash pad and burn pits are planned for a luxury apartment complex in the 4300 block of Riverside Drive near Hall Road. (Submitted image)

A resort hotel is the look developers are after in designing amenities for a proposed 280-unit luxury apartment complex in the 4300 block of Riverside Drive.

Applicants Charlie Hand and Jim Rollins seek rezoning from agricultural to multi-family residential for part of the 20 acres that back up onto Hall Road.

Developers want to build 280 luxury apartments off Riverside Drive and Hall Road in north Macon. (Liz Fabian)

The gated entrance off Riverside near the old Brookhaven Inn will lead to seven 40-unit, four-story residential buildings and a 5,100-square-foot-clubhouse with an exercise room, covered patio and deck.

The currently wooded parcels will house a children’s playground, fenced dog park and two pools, including a splash pad for kids and burn pit in the center. The applicants also applied for a conditional use permit for the new apartment complex of one-, two- and three-bedroom units.

Near the Monroe County line, developers want to build 276 units on nearly 24 acres at 5530 Riverside Drive. (Liz Fabian)

About 2.5 miles to the north, Jud Hall and Hillpointe LLC have applied for a conditional use permit to build 276 two-bedroom apartments at 5530 Riverside Drive, just north of Bass Road and not far from the Monroe County line.

The complex on nearly 24 acres will feature a clubhouse, fitness center, swimming pool, trash compactor and six 10-bay garage buildings, according to the application.

Busting blight near City Hall

The circa 1870 cottage at 555 First St. next to City Hall is slated to be renovated for professional offices. (Liz Fabian)

A deteriorating cottage dating back to about 1870 is slated for an upgrade at 555 First Street.

The Design Review Board recommends P&Z approve Flex Kabuye’s certificate of appropriateness to renovate the former home of Dessau Realty, which is next to the old Macon Police Detective Bureau at Macon-Bibb County City Hall.

Kabuye is using Historic Macon tax credits to renovate the one-story Greek Revival for professional offices.

The board stipulated that the renovation must maintain the historic configuration of the front door, which has a transom window and sidelites, before recommending the commission’s approval.

The Design Review Board also approved Kabuye’s application to modify the exterior of a one-story cottage in Beall’s Hill.

The board recommended P&Z ratify their approval for the work at 1471 Jackson St., which also may become a tax credit project.

New homes in old development

Commissioners also are slated to ratify plans for 94 new single-family homes in the third phase of the Quail Ridge subdivision.

Jeff Royal and Madison Development want to building on nearly 97 acres at 3790 Walden Road to complete the last portion of the previously approved development.

P&Z already signed off on revised designs and materials for the homes “since the market and construction cost no longer supported the original brick and cement board materials,” the application stated.

The development stalled during the economic downturn in 2008.

Monday’s hearings will begin at 1:30 p.m. on the third floor of Terminal Station in downtown Macon.

Civic Journalism Senior Fellow Liz Fabian covers Macon-Bibb County government agencies and boards and can be reached at [email protected] or 478-301-2976.