MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - One of Macon's shopping centers is under new management. The head man in charge is hoping to strip away any concerns the community may have.
When shoppers walk inside of the Macon Mall, they might notice a few changes, but the newest change, is something they might not see.
The company Hull Storey Gibson owns the mall. Officials recently announced one of Macon's very own businessman, Mark Stevens, is taking the reins.
"Because of my roots here in Macon and because of the fact that I have a banking background, and I understand this community...it's good to be able to help be apart of the revitalization of the Macon Mall," Stevens said.
The former president of State Bank is looking to add a spark to the once popular shopping destination.
Stevens says for a long time the Macon Mall has had, a negative connotation to it, but he's trying to do everything he can to change that.
"Priority number one is to let people know is that this is an entirely safe environment to shop," he said.
He also says because of the shopping center's ups and downs in past years, people think the mall has failed, but he stressed that it hasn't.
"What we need people to understand that given a little time, this is going to be a premier shopping place in Macon, Georgia," Stevens said.
He is also pushing to make the surrounding retail area attractive. He thinks it's important to prevent the retail corridor from becoming a blighted area.
"We need this tax base, the city and the county to be consolidated as we all know," Stevens told 41NBC. "From Pio Nono Avenue to I-475, there's $450 million dollars in retail sales up and down this corridor and we need to protect that."
Stevens says the key to bringing more foot traffic to the mall area will be finding quality stores to set up shop in and outside of the mall.
His new responsibilities will oversee all mall operations, manage community relationships, and continue his mission to push for more revitalization in the surrounding retail area.