Macon-Bibb County Urban Development Authority has approved the development concept for the mixed-use Exchange Block project in downtown Macon in Georgia, US.

A joint venture formed by global investment firm MMI Capital and real estate agency Thornton Realty is the developer for the project, which has an estimated value of $50m.

Exchange Block will be surrounded by Poplar, Second, Plum and First streets, but will not include a corner lot at Plum and First.

The project will feature at least one hotel with 120 rooms, as well as 120 to 140 apartment units, reported It will also offer retail shops, a restaurant and a multi-level parking garage with about 575 spaces.

"We’re hoping [to] facilitate the extension of the Second Street corridor, which will connect up with the proposed Mid City Square."

MMI Capital CEO Miller Heath III was quoted by the local newspaper as saying : "We think the location of the block is fairly important.

"The city has been pushing the Mid-City Square project (at Second and Pine streets). We’re hoping as part of this project we can facilitate the extension of the Second Street corridor, which will connect up with the proposed Mid City Square."

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Major portions of the project will involve new developments, but the plans are to retain certain parts of existing structures, such as the Thornton building on Poplar Street and the Newman building.

The preliminary project plan suggests that at least one hotel will face Poplar Street, while either condos or another hotel will be on First Street.

Apartments sections will be developed in an ‘L’ shape, connecting Second Street to Plum Street, along the alley.

The joint venture intends to build five-storey apartment buildings with balconies, while a portion of the parking space will be built underground.