While the construction and landscaping projects at Mercer Landing off of Mercer University Drive have been completed, many of the retail spaces still remain vacant and the eateries that were slated to be there haven’t moved in.
Chain restaurants like Mama Goldberg's Deli and Chen's Wok were expected to already be open for business.
"We were hoping that they would be opening during [Mercer] football," said David Higdon, property manager of the Mercer Landing lofts.
Higdon said that Mama Goldberg's Deli had to push back their opening date due to personal matters.
"[It will] probably be about the first of the year," when the restaurant opens, he said.
Higdon does not know the status of Chen's Wok, but did confirm that they will still be a vendor at the landing.
Papa John's Pizza has been part of the development project from the beginning and has been open for several months now, however.
"They have been doing extremely well over there," Higdon said.
Some Mercer students are not impressed by the halt on Mama Goldberg’s and Chen’s Wok opening dates.
“The fact that the other two restaurants haven’t opened yet is slightly agitating, as it was supposed to be a perk of living here, but it’s not life altering,” said Mercer sophomore Avery Everling.
Higdon came into his management position during the last quarter of construction when cable and furniture installation was being completed in the Lofts at Mercer Landing.
The landscaping for the development was also being completed around this time.[related title="Related Stories" stories="16673,20591" align="right" background="on" border="none" shadow="off"]
"We did notice that some things worked better than others," Higdon said about the planting of vegetation and installation of irrigation systems.
Higdon said that they did have to make a few changes to the original landscaping plan.
"But, for the most part, everything was designed well and worked out well," he said.
The new pedestrian bridge that links the landing to the Mercer football stadium had its grand opening in September.
This architectural structure was a collaboration between Mercer, Sierra Development, Inc and the city of Macon.
Higdon said that the grand opening for the bridge had to be pushed back three times due to the project having multiple parties invested.
However, the bridge has led to a better sense of community for the area, including Mercer, the landing and loft residence.
Even though the pedestrian bridge gives easy access to Mercer’s campus for loft residents, Everling said that the overall location of the landing is too removed from the university.
“[T]he location is inconvenient, being on the outskirts of campus. But I don’t mind driving to campus,” Everling said.
According to Higdon, it will be after the first of the year when new additions to the landing can be expected to be made.
Editor's Note: Mama Goldberg's Deli opened Dec. 27, after publication of this article.