An integral part of the College Hill Corridor movement is boosting the local economy by attracting business and retail into the area. The staff of the College Hill Alliance administers a variety of professional resources available to existing Corridor businesses and other businesses willing to locate within the Corridor. This includes a market analysis capability as well as a consultation on business development, marketing and available tax credits.
The Alliance also tracks key available commercial properties being offered for sale in the Corridor. Contact the College Hill Alliance office to find out what is currently available. With available commercial properties, tax incentives and a diverse surrounding work force, College Hill is an ideal community for enterprise.
Direct recruitment efforts have resulted in the relocation of an established bicycle store from the suburbs to the Corridor in March 2010 and the attraction of an urban apparel store to Mercer Village in March 2011. In April 2010, Sierra Development broke ground on the Lofts at Mercer Village, a $10 million mixed-use development that will feature loft-style student apartments, three locally owned businesses – Fountain of Juice, Margarita’s Mexican and Designer Tan – and a Barnes & Noble bookstore. With Phase I complete, the second phase of the Lofts at Mercer Village is currently under construction and is set to contain both student lofts and the Center for Collaborative Journalism.
The Alliance worked with the Knight Foundation-funded Digital Bridges to develop Shoplocalmacon.com. The interactive community website promotes Corridor and Downtown Macon businesses and emphasizes their positive impact on the community’s character and economic prosperity. With the website, business owners have the opportunity to post articles pertaining to their business, have a forum page for registered businesses to share ideas and feedback with each other, as well as easily create their own coupons which can be printed by potential customers.
The College Hill Corridor has also been home to the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation-funded “serious game” challenge called Macon Money, which utilized community-building strategies to boost local commerce in the Corridor and downtown.