Mercer to relocate houses for Phase II of Lofts


Be prepared Mercer, in the near future three homes will be slowly creeping by campus on their way to a new location as their empty lots become the next loft development. The homes, currently located at 1658, 1674 and 1690 Coleman Ave., will be relocated to 1035, 1065 and 1071 Oglethorpe St.
The homes are owned by Mercer University and are being moved to make way for Phase II of the Lofts at Mercer Village. The new lofts will have a similar layout to the current building. It will be four stories with three retail spaces on the first floor, with the next three floors rooming 72 student residents. The parking within Mercer Village and Johnson Avenue will expand to add over 100 parking spaces to make way for the necessary demand of retailers and residents.
The favorable outcome of the first phase is what encouraged the launch across the street. Mercer President William D. Underwood initiated the relocation project of the three homes and it has now become a joint undertaking between Mercer and Historic Macon. The homes will be taken to Beall’s Hill as part of a revitalization project started 4 years ago by Mercer University, the City of Macon, Historic Macon Foundation, and the Macon Housing Authority.
In a press release on Mercer’s website Underwood said, “The opportunity to once again work with Historic Macon on this ambitious project continues to advance the missions of both entities while adding to the vitality of the College Hill Corridor.”

“It’s a productive partnership right now between Mercer and Historic Macon,” said Jennifer Mayer, Marketing and Public Relations Coordinator for Historic Macon.
Mayer mentioned that there was supposed to be a parade for the substantial move but due to steady delays of construction and equipment coming from out of state, this is not likely. “When they do set a date, they will start at daybreak and work until they are done,” said Mayer.
The job will take extensive coordination and engineering, both of which can already be seen at the current location of the homes. Massive beams lay under the foundation in preparation for the move. On route to Oglethorpe, power, cable, and telephone lines will be relocated, two traffic signals will be removed and a temporary bridge is being built over a railroad bridge that could not otherwise withstand the weight of the homes.
The homes journey includes the parking lot of Mercer Village, east on Montpelier Avenue, north on Adams Street, east on Oglethorpe over the stand-in bridge onto Ross Street, and finally Maple Street where the homes will rest on their new lots. When the homes reach their destination they will be taken over by Historic Macon and be restored and sold to homeowners.
The homes, built in 1897, are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Mayer said the homes are important because they hold on to the memories and lives of Macon residents that need to be preserved.
All are welcome to come and watch the move happen, the main set up being at Tattnall. For more information on the date of the move please visit Historic Macon’s website.