Market Research

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Downtown Macon is ideal for a variety of investment and development opportunities. NewTown Macon is constantly developing new market research to induce and guide investments downtown. The latest residential and commercial studies were produced as part of the Macon Action Plan process, led by our public partners, the Macon-Bibb Urban Development Authority.

The Basics

Downtown Macon saw its first population increase in a generation in the 2010 census, growing at six times the rate as the county as a whole. Downtown is also one of Macon’s most diverse areas as of the same census (53% black, 39% white, 4% Hispanic, 2% Asian, 2% other). Downtown hosts 212 active businesses in almost all sectors, where over 25,000 people work each day, representing nearly half of the city’s workers and over a quarter of our MSA’s employees. This density of employees provides easy access to customers for businesses that start-up or relocate to downtown.

Downtown is already a destination for regional dining and entertainment with four theatres, fifteen bars and twenty-two restaurants. This constant activity and careful management by law enforcement makes downtown Macon one of the region’s safest precincts, with crime dropping 20% just since 2011.

Residential Market

Macon’s hottest investment is downtown housing, thanks to a surging and sustained demand for loft housing in Macon’s most walkable neighborhoods. Downtown Macon boasts WalkScores that enable residents to take care of daily errands without a car.

Because of those amenities, approximately 850 residents live in 650 market-rate rental lofts in downtown Macon. Our most recent market analysis was completed in 2019 and projects market demand until 2024. Demand is projected to increase over this period, with annual demand as follows:

  • Rental Lofts/Apartments: 146-174 units per year
  • For-Sale Lofts/Apartments: 6-7 units per year
  • For-Sale Townhouses/Live-work: 12-14 units per year
  • For-Sale Urban Houses: 36-40 units per year

The urban loft market is also diversifying, with younger singles and couples representing 61% of the market and an increasing share of Empty Nesters & retirees (25%) and traditional and non-traditional families (14%) moving into downtown housing. Approximately 35% of our new residents relocate to downtown from outside of our region, increasing our population.

Occupancy rates track around 95% month-to-month after initial lease-up periods of six months. The market study projects rates between $1.25/sf to $1.84/sf in 2019 dollars, although actual rates reflect a much wider range of under $1/sf for subdivided houses to over $2/sf for all-inclusive luxury rentals. Both developers and tenants will find market opportunities to suit every budget within walking distance of downtown Macon.

2019 Residential Market Study2014 Residential Market Study2011 Residential Market Study

Commercial Market

Not only does downtown housing increase residents, new residents also provide increased opportunity for new retail tenants. In fact, a recent study by Place Economics found that each new upper-floor loft resulted in $15,000 in additional spending by its residents on retail services downtown.

Downtown also acts as a natural incubator. Because of the density of jobs and residents, downtown is a great place to test a new idea. Storefronts are available in a variety of locations, conditions, prices and sizes, many with unique historic charm and unusual amenities. Nowhere in middle Georgia enjoys a greater diversity of available retail space.

Downtown Macon is also the premier location in Middle Georgia for corporate headquarters and office space. Easy access by walking, bicycling and transit makes it easy for you to connect with new and existing clients. Whether you are looking for a prominent storefront or the region’s nicest office space in an office tower, downtown Macon has a space to fit every budget.

2018 Downtown Macon Retail Analysis2014 Commercial Market Profile2014 Economic Base Snapshot