Anyone who has been to the Macon Mall (accessible from Mercer University Drive or Eisenhower Parkway) within the past few months has noticed the great number of changes that the venue is currently undergoing. The hallways and corridors are stuffed with construction equipment, and many of the once long-standing structures of the Macon Mall have been demolished or removed.
Construction at the Macon Mall began in July, and mall management intends to reveal the finished product in November Mishay Bingham, operations and marketing manager, said, “On Saturday, Nov. 19, we invite the community and surrounding counties to come check out the Macon Mall with all of the different changes. The event will be from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with different performances throughout the day for entertainment.”
The event will include fashion shows, cheerleaders, costumes and a debut for the Macon Mall mascot.
Currently, the mall smells of fresh paint and has been gutted of flooring. Workers on forklifts diligently toil with light fixtures and the café carousel (like the indoor trees or the stairs near the food court) is missing.
Bingham said, “We have 190 people working every night, and most of the work gets done during the night, but we’re doing whatever we can during the daytime now especially since our timeline is coming to an end, so that we can guarantee to be finished.”
All the bustle of work is indicative of a change of vision for the Macon Mall. Bingham said, “Our vision is ‘A New Mall, A New Macon,’ so we’ve spent millions and millions of dollars doing an interior makeover.”
When asked what the new vision for the Mall entails, Bingham explained, “We have increased our security drastically, and we have a family-first policy. We want Macon to know that they can bring their families here and shop and feel safe and secure.”
Among the renovations taking place, the Macon Mall is getting new restrooms and is being carpeted. There will be tile in the food court, new lighting and new skylights.
Beyond the improvements that the standing portion of the Mall is undergoing, the East Wing of the Mall is being demolished.
“We already started demoing the former Parisian’s building two weeks ago. We’ve installed a new traffic circle at the Eisenhower entrance, in front of Firestone, which will allow traffic to easily flow in and out of the mall. Once the demo of the East Wing is complete, JC Penny will have a new third exterior entrance and a new parking lot. Behind JC Penny’s parking lot there will be a grassy area, which will be in front of the former Dillard’s building.”
While many of the storefronts in the Macon Mall are currently empty, Bingham said that strides are being taken to ensure that the available stores are rented. “We have a corporate leasing team that has all of the national contacts, and they are working diligently. We have a team in Augusta, where our corporate office is, and they’re working every day to get new tenants into the mall,” she said.
The Macon Mall is working hard to keep the community informed about the renovations. Bingham said, “You can visit us at www.shopmaconmall.com, follow us on Twitter, friend us on Facebook, and also visit us at youtube.com/maconmalldemo. There are several videos that we’re uploading weekly on there.”
On the YouTube site, check out the video “We are turning the Mall around!”
You shall be equally amused and surprised.