Historic Macon makes offer for Tremont

Tremont Temple Baptist Church, the building currently facing demolition proposals, has been the focus of business deals which have reached a standstill: the congregation has voted to consider an exclusive contract with the Dunkin’ Donuts developer after initially declining Historic Macon’s offer to purchase the historic building. Last November, it was made aware to the Macon community that the historic Tremont Temple Baptist Church was being faced with possible demolition as a part of a business deal that included the construction of a Dunkin’ Donuts. Currently, the congregation “unanimously voted” to renew the contract with the developer of the potential Dunkin’ Donuts instead of accepting Historic Macon’s offer to purchase the building, according to Josh Rogers, Executive Director of Historic Macon. He said, “the property is under exclusive contract with the developer until they have exhausted all opportunities for appeal, meaning that the congregation cannot consider any other offers for the property.” Although at this point deals can be swayed either way, Historic Macon has not lost its interest to buy the building. Rogers said, “We expect the appeal to be unsuccessful, and hope the congregation will reconsider selling the building to Historic Macon at that point.” If the offer with the current projected developer is denied by the congregation and Historic Macon’s is accepted, the team’s plan is to “purchase, stabilize and ensure the complete rehabilitation of the entire building and to see it put back into active use,” said Rogers. Additionally, Rogers said that the building would host an informational and educational “exhibit about Macon’s civil rights history in the space [so that] people can learn about local history,” made by raising funds.

According to Rogers, although the building is still potentially faced with demolition, Historic Macon’s goal was going “a step further than just preventing demolition [and] offer[ing] to buy the building.” Although impossible for Historic Macon to purchase all historic sites around Macon, Rogers said, “Tremont is really a unique case where buying the building became the only way to save it, after we exhausted all other methods.” With the impending fate of Tremont Temple, Rogers said, “What makes Macon unique are our historic buildings, and we intend to keep them.”