Macon, Georgia – On Wednesday, November 29, Macon-Bibb County carried out the demolition of the deteriorating Bateman & Wade Grocery building on Clayton Street, a structure that had stood as a landmark in the Historic Pleasant Hill Neighborhood. The grocery store, which closed its doors nearly a decade ago, had fallen into a state of disrepair and posed safety concerns. The property owner generously donated the site to the County earlier this month, leading to the planned demolition.
Andrea Cooke, whose mother has deep roots in the Historic Pleasant Hill Neighborhood, expressed sentiments about the history of the place. She acknowledged the loss of a neighborhood icon but highlighted the potential for a new space that would honor the area’s history and foster collaboration among neighboring communities.
Once a thriving corner market offering groceries, fresh meat, and other specialties, Bateman & Wade Grocery had served as a gathering place for neighbors. In its final years, the building deteriorated, becoming a site for criminal activity. Despite its closure, incidents of criminal activity persisted, prompting the decision to demolish the structure. For the time being, the vacant property is slated to be transformed into a greenspace.
Mayor Pro Tem Seth Clark reflected on the building’s history, noting its past role as a corner market accessible to both black and white neighbors from Historic Vineville and Historic Pleasant Hill. However, he acknowledged that over time, the site had contributed to dividing the two neighborhoods due to increased violent incidents.
Vineville Neighborhood Association (VNA) President Will Davis expressed excitement about the opportunity to revitalize the corner and the transition line between Vineville and Pleasant Hill. The VNA looks forward to collaborating with Mayor Lester Miller, Commissioner Clark, and representatives from Pleasant Hill to determine the future plans for the property.
Mayor Lester Miller emphasized the significance of the moment as an opportunity for community unity. He expressed the commitment to ensure that the redevelopment truly represents all of Macon-Bibb County. The demolition of Bateman & Wade Grocery marks the beginning of a new chapter, aiming to bring positive transformation to the corner and foster a sense of community for the entire county.