Macon-Bibb County Focuses on Neighborhood Revitalization along Houston Avenue

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Photo courtesy of City of Macon-Bibb County

Macon-Bibb County continues its efforts to strengthen neighborhoods with a focus on Houston Avenue. On Wednesday, April 10, the community witnessed the demolition of the vacant and blighted building at 2988 Houston Avenue, marking a significant step in the ongoing initiative.

Mayor Lester Miller emphasized the broader significance of the endeavor, stating, “The Blight Fight is about more than just demolition…it’s about strengthening neighborhoods.” This demolition marked the 688th of the Blight Fight initiative, which commenced in April 2021, with over 150 demolitions specifically in the Houston Avenue area.

District 7 Commissioner Bill Howell shared personal memories of the area, expressing pride in the collaborative efforts to revitalize it. “I’m proud to be standing here with all the partners involved. And while I and others have memories here, sometimes we have to move forward so others can make good memories here,” Howell stated.

The revitalization of Houston Avenue is a joint effort involving Macon-Bibb County, private contractors, First Choice Primary Care, Macon Area Habitat for Humanity, and other stakeholders. First Choice Primary Care is set to open a healthcare facility and pharmacy in the vicinity, thanks to investments from Macon-Bibb’s American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds and the Peyton Anderson Foundation.

Katherine McCleod, CEO of First Choice Primary Care, highlighted the importance of the new medical facility in providing essential services to the community. “We’ll be able to provide primary care to anyone, regardless of their ability to pay,” McCleod stated. She also noted the absence of other pharmacies in the area, underscoring the significance of the new pharmacy.

Over the past year, Macon-Bibb County opened the Frankie E. Lewis Park, which includes various recreational amenities and replaces blighted structures. Mayor Miller emphasized the need for purposeful efforts to strengthen neighborhoods, expressing pride in the progress along Houston Avenue.

Furthermore, an additional $500,000 in ARP funds, matched by the Peyton Anderson Foundation, was allocated to Habitat for Humanity. This funding will support the construction of new homes in nearby Lynmore Estates, fostering homeownership and community development.

“We must leverage all of our resources in our neighborhoods to truly address the needs of our friends and families because it doesn’t matter which side of the county we live in, what happens to one of us…happens to all of us,” Mayor Miller affirmed, emphasizing unity in community development efforts.

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