Staving Off Decay through Loan Programs

Written by Lauren E. Mauldin

 I remember many a Saturday visiting Macon, Georgia as a child. Growing up in small-town an hour and a half away, Macon was my family’s main source for retail shopping. Situated in the suburbs, the main stores we visited were vastly separated from the historic urban core, which dates back to the early nineteenth century. Then, (and even now), Macon had a bad reputation for fostering crime-ridden inner city neighborhoods, with very little development, retail, or owner-occupied residences downtown. This negative perception of Macon was not uncommon. Everyone in the state of Georgia knew to avoid downtown Macon. Even the major interstate diverts traffic from the historic urban core thanks to a major bypass. It was as if the Department of Transportation knew that no one wanted to visit the heart of Macon, so instead the bypass created a new suburban destination that catapulted drivers to Atlanta. So, when I say I never came to downtown Macon, I literally never even drove near it. Today, I live and work downtown. Continue reading