News from Around the State: District 5

District 5 is geographically situated in the center of the state, comprised of Baldwin, Bibb, Crawford, Houston, Jones, Monroe, Peach, Pulaski, Putnam, Twiggs, and Wilkinson. The district is home to two (2) MPOs (Metropolitan Planning Organizations): Macon MPO and Warner Robins MPO. The Macon MPO also known as Macon Area Transportation Study (MATS) is the regional organization that plans for federal transportation funds for State & Federal highways, public transit, rail, bikeways, trails, and sidewalks to move people & goods in Macon-Bibb County and parts of Monroe & Jones Counties in Georgia. 

The Warner Robins Area Transportation Study (WRATS) is the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for the Warner Robins Urbanized Area. WRATS plans and coordinates transportation improvements for the Warner Robins metropolitan planning area, which consists of all of Houston County and the northeastern portion of Peach County to include the incorporated cities of Warner Robins, Byron, Centerville, and Perry. Other notable municipalities within the Middle Georgia/ District 5 region are Allentown, Byron, Centerville, Culloden, Danville, Eatonton, Forsyth, Fort Valley, Gordon, Gray, Hawkinsville, Irwinton, Ivey, Jeffersonville, McIntyre, Milledgeville, Perry, Roberta, Toomsboro, and Warner Robins.

Warner Robins, Georgia
Submitted by Kate Hogan, Community & Economic Development Director, City of Warner Robins

Within District 5, the City of Warner Robins is undergoing a massive redevelopment project to reinvent the downtown area. The 18-acre development site has been the target for City acquisitions and in under 3 years they have 81% acquired, funded solely by SPLOST from 2012 and 2018. Additionally, the city identified 2 GA Brownfields locations and successfully had them designated. Through these designations the City of Warner Robins was positioned to receive a $1m Multi-Purpose Brownfield’s Grant through EPA. Lastly, the City partnered with UGA’s College of Engineering to redesign the infrastructure in the area to ensure implementation of new Residential and Commercial Footprints had the necessary capacity. The estimated cost of the reconstruction project is expected to be a $200m undertaking by the City of Warner Robins.  The map shows the acquisitions to date in the areas surrounding Watson Boulevard, and South Commercial Circle. 

Macon, Georgia
Submitted by Alex Morrison, Executive Director, Urban Development Authority

Beginning with a donation in 2021, Macon-Bibb County and the Urban Development Authority began reimagining the Macon Mall into a multi-use attraction that brings people back to the corridor that had experienced years of disinvestment. Starting with the community’s vision for a state-of-the-art amphitheater, the Mall project is aimed at sparking new hope for the area while providing a new baseline of traffic with government offices (including the state’s largest and only fully enclosed early voting site) and the world’s largest pickleball facility in the former Belk department store. The government is continuing to develop plans for the area which will include new retail and housing on site with the potential for new private investment. More than 100,000 people have attended events at the facility this year alone with more concerts, tournaments, and elections to come!


To learn more about Georgia Planning Association, District 5, contact Gregory L. Brown, District 5 Director.