Mercer University is expanding its student housing portfolio on the North side of campus. Sierra Development broke ground this summer in the construction of the third phase of the Lofts at Mercer Village.
Jim Daws, president of Sierra Development, is looking forward to transforming the College St. entrance of Mercer University. Daws estimates that the building will cost eight to $8 to $9 million and should be completed in a year.
“I’m hoping to have the same wow impact,” as the first two loft apartment buildings, said Daws.
The new residential building will have 111 bedrooms; a necessity due to larger class enrollments and University imposed restrictions on off-campus housing. Starting in Fall 2014, all students must live on campus for their first three years at Mercer.
Larry Brumley, Senior Vice President for Marketing Communications, said that discussions regarding student housing beyond the third phase of the lofts is already underway.
Jim Daws hopes that he can expand the Mercer Lofts all the way through the College Corridor into downtown Macon.
Sierra Development is adding more amenities to the new building because of its distance from restaurant-oriented Mercer Village. Daws said the completed building will include a Wi-Fi cafe, coffee bar, tv lounge, game room, and study rooms will dot the floors of the building.
Daws said the coffee bar will most likely be managed by employee of Sierra development, but he is considering reaching out the Jittery Joes in Mercer Village.
Daws said Sierra Development is hiring a interior decorator out of Atlanta to design the rooms in the post-modern style of new apartments in New York City. At the very least, the apartments will feature bamboo flooring and stainless-steel appliances.
The lofts are being constructed on property owned by Mercer University, between Alexander II Magnet School and 1268 College St., the derelict yet historic Jordan Apartments building.
The Jordan Apartments building was originally slated for demolition to make room for an outdoor pavilion at the lofts said Daws. However, Historic Macon Foundation raised the funds necessary to rehabilitate the Jordan Apartments building and convert it into four two-bedroom student apartments.