Tour Stop #12: 563 Cherry Street

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563 Cherry Street

563 Cherry Street in 1948, photo taken by philanthropist and preservationist Thad E. Murphey. Saranya’s building was once Hayes

We know we have a good thing going when long-time business owners decide to purchase and develop additional historic commercial buildings downtown. Saranya Kusawadee is the owner and operator of Tokyo Alley, a signature downtown eatery offering Japanese and Thai cuisine. In 1992, Saranya bought the charming building on Mulberry Street Lane that houses Tokyo Alley, making it one of downtown’s longest continuously operating restaurants. Given Saranya’s success as a restaurateur and her commitment to downtown Macon, we are beyond thrilled for her to step into a developer’s role and transform this highly visible, yet dormant, Cherry Street storefront. Her development plans for the property include a residential unit on the upper floor and a build-to-suit commercial storefront on the bottom floor. Saranya is currently part of a small group of female and minority real estate developers in downtown Macon. Her work is charting a way forward for other women of color to own and develop their own property.