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Old Posted Sep 9, 2009, 4:26 PM
jacksonian jacksonian is offline
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JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI | City With Soul



When most people think of Mississippi, they think of open pastures grazed by herds of livestock, outlined by forests of pine trees and slow moving streams... or they think about Hurricane Katrina. If you think of either of these, you would be correct, but there is much more to Mississippi than the beautiful rural context and the natural disasters that have plagued our past.

Jackson is not only the economic and cultural heart of Mississippi, but is also the center of great opportunity in the Mid-South. Local as well as many out-of-state investors seem to think Jackson is indeed a great opportunity, as can be seen by the long list of recent/current projects.


Recently completed, 2007-present (above $1 million):

Jackson Convention Complex - $65 million
http://www.jacksonconventioncomplex.com/


Pinnacle at Jackson Place - $48.5 million
http://www.jacksonplace.com/


Mississippi Supreme Court - $42.7 million
http://www.downtown-jackson.com/inde...ment-info/129/
http://www.mssc.state.ms.us/


Walter Sillings Building (renovation/new parking garage) - $28 million
http://www.downtown-jackson.com/inde...ment-info/126/


Old Capitol Museum (renovation) - $16 million
http://www.downtown-jackson.com/inde...ll-story/3284/


Mississippi Museum of Art - $14 million
http://www.msmuseumart.org/


Cellular South Technical Operations Center - $11 million
http://www.downtown-jackson.com/inde...ment-info/123/


MDEQ (renovation) - $6 million
http://www.downtown-jackson.com/inde...ent-info/1979/


200 North Congress (renovation) - $3 million
http://www.downtown-jackson.com/inde...ment-info/130/


Langston Building - $2.3 million
http://www.downtown-jackson.com/inde...ent-info/1714/


AT&T (restoration) - $2.3 million
http://www.downtown-jackson.com/inde...ent-info/1977/


Dennery's Building (renovation) - $1.75 million
http://www.downtown-jackson.com/inde...ent-info/2145/


Tombigbee Lofts (renovation) - $1.5 million
http://www.downtown-jackson.com/inde...ment-info/104/



Under construction (above $1 million):

Old Capitol Green - $1.1 billion
http://www.downtown-jackson.com/inde...ment-info/119/


US Federal Courthouse - $122 million
http://www.downtown-jackson.com/inde...ment-info/127/


Farish Street Entertainment District - $100 million (Phase I + II)
http://www.downtown-jackson.com/inde...ment-info/113/


King Edward Hotel (renovation) - $89 million
http://www.downtown-jackson.com/inde...ment-info/117/


Standard Life Building (renovation) - $35 million
http://www.downtown-jackson.com/inde...ment-info/100/


Roberts Walthall Hotel (renovation) - $14 million
http://www.downtown-jackson.com/inde...ent-info/4210/


Foundry Lofts - $1.5 million
http://www.studioloftsjacksonms.com/

Last edited by jacksonian; Sep 9, 2009 at 4:38 PM.
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Old Posted Sep 9, 2009, 4:33 PM
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Thanks for providing updates on an under-represented metro area on this forum. I visit the MS coast often, but only rarely see Jackson first-hand. Good to know there is much activity going on up there.
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  #3  
Old Posted Sep 9, 2009, 4:41 PM
jacksonian jacksonian is offline
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Originally Posted by Mopacs View Post
Thanks for providing updates on an under-represented metro area on this forum. I visit the MS coast often, but only rarely see Jackson first-hand. Good to know there is much activity going on up there.
With so much going on here, I figured it would be best to go ahead and get a thread started, or else someone would have had a lot of catching up to do!

Last edited by jacksonian; Apr 6, 2010 at 9:29 PM.
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Old Posted Sep 9, 2009, 5:43 PM
jowens jowens is offline
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Great to see something is happening with the King Edward. Its been dormant forever.

I've always have had a fondness for the Standard Life Tower. Its also encouraging to see the future plans for it.

Thanks for sharing Jackson with us.
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Old Posted Sep 9, 2009, 6:01 PM
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Awesome, thanks for starting a thread concerning this wonderful city I had a chance to visit last Summer, and will again soon, and I was pleasantly surprised.

When I was there last Summer I noticed a lot of work and development going on in the Fondren neighborhood, how's that coming along?
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Old Posted Sep 9, 2009, 8:20 PM
Prahaboheme Prahaboheme is offline
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Is the Mississippi State Supreme courthouse new construction or a renovation?
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Old Posted Sep 9, 2009, 9:18 PM
jacksonian jacksonian is offline
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Originally Posted by dugdogmaster View Post
Awesome, thanks for starting a thread concerning this wonderful city I had a chance to visit last Summer, and will again soon, and I was pleasantly surprised.

When I was there last Summer I noticed a lot of work and development going on in the Fondren neighborhood, how's that coming along?
Fondren is doing very well, although it is much smaller in scale (1-4 story buildings) compared to downtown. Here are a few recent shots of Fondren (which is where I live ):












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  #8  
Old Posted Sep 9, 2009, 9:22 PM
jacksonian jacksonian is offline
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Originally Posted by Prahaboheme View Post
Is the Mississippi State Supreme courthouse new construction or a renovation?
The first phase was actually an addition which may have consist of some renovation on the interior - then they demolished the existing south portion of the building and are now rebuilding that portion. It was an odd process to watch to say the least. When it's complete, it will basically be a brand new building.
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Old Posted Sep 9, 2009, 9:25 PM
jacksonian jacksonian is offline
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Originally Posted by jowens View Post
Great to see something is happening with the King Edward. Its been dormant forever.

I've always have had a fondness for the Standard Life Tower. Its also encouraging to see the future plans for it.

Thanks for sharing Jackson with us.
The King Edward will be complete by the end of this year, and a lot of people are very excited about that (with good reason)! When I lived downtown, the warm glowing neons of the Standard Life Building were very calming at night from afar. I hope they retain the integrity of the sign during the renovation. That building is also one of my favorites here.
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Old Posted Jan 6, 2010, 6:47 PM
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Jackson Update

I'm proud to announce that the former King Edward Hotel [now called the Hilton Garden Inn Downtown Jackson] has opened its doors to the public. The ribbon-cutting took place last month and the apartments opened up on Jan. 1, with 60 of the 65 already filled. After sitting dormant for 40 years, the King Edward is alive and well. Here are some before and after pics:

BEFORE:



AFTER:



















In 2009 (and many years previous), I heard countless naysayers say that the King Edward Hotel would never reopen - it did. Many said that the Farish Street Entertainment District would never begin construction and renovation work - it did. Even more said that the crime problem in Jackson would never decrease - it did. Jackson is taking off and leaving the pessimists in the dark. Many who had given up on Jackson over the years have re-evaluated their perception of Jackson and are starting the see the true beauty that this city possesses. Countless are trading in their former 'American Dream' in the burbs for Downtown residences. Apartments are sprouting up with almost every renovation project in an attempt to keep up with the strong demand for urban living. Businesses see this movement occurring and more and more of them are setting up shop near the new Downtown residences.

At a media luncheon last month, David Watkins [one of the developers of the King Edward renovation project] unveiled plans for the Riverwalk and Town Lake, an ambitious project that would feature a mile-long, concrete-lined canal that started at Farish Street and ended at Court Street, where it would empty into a 35-acre lake that connected to the Pearl River.

One side of the lake would feature a mix of apartments and condos, the other an arts district and a Hollywood bowl. A gospel music museum and a civil rights museum, which is currently planned to go up at Tougaloo College, have been thrown out as possibilities at the canal’s Farish Street beginning.



The Brookings Institution ranked Jackson in the top 20 strongest performing metro markets for the second AND third quarters of 2009. Forbes posted Jackson in their #3 spot for ‘best bang-for-the-buck cities’ just last month. Southwest Airlines chose Jackson as one of 7 U.S. cities to highlight in their publication “Spirit” magazine. CNN ranked Jackson in the top 15 among mid-size metro areas for best place to launch small business start-ups.

In 2009, the tide in Jackson not only turned but it gained serious momentum. There's a new attitude in the city and a strong generation of young adults who are determined to make this city reach it's fullest potential. The King Edward was but a benchmark that ignited the flame for many - the abandoned building stood as a symbol of all of the wrong in Jackson for years, and now it represents the future of all of the right that is happening now in the city. The buck does not stop there - the energy from this project has shifted to the nearby Standard Life Building which is under renovation as is the Farish Street Entertainment District just one block north. The smaller buildings in the area are increasingly becoming active again with retail and commercial options moving in to meet the needs of the ever growing downtown residents.

Despite the nation's terrible economy last year, 2009 was an impressive year for Jackson. Not only were new plans unveiled but instrumental projects were completed. I can't wait to see what 2010 has in store.

Last edited by jacksonian; Jan 18, 2010 at 2:05 PM.
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  #11  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2010, 12:04 AM
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That's an incredible renovation they did, beautiful work.
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  #12  
Old Posted Mar 10, 2010, 7:52 PM
jacksonian jacksonian is offline
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$185 million of development is centered around one block in Downtown Jackson. The apartments at the new King Edward Hotel are all leased Thursday. People who couldn't get in will try their luck around the corner at the 21-story Standard Life building on Roach Street.

Developer David Watkins said 76 one- and two-bedroom apartments inside should be ready for move-in by September 1st.

"We have a waiting list of 153 people. That will shake out to 50 percent, which means they will be full," Watkins said. "We will have 130-140 families living in this one block within one year. We got 75 percent that have moved from Madison and Rankin Counties, people who work in downtown or nearby, don't like the commute [from the suburbs], some just like an urban lifestyle."

Across from the King Edward, asbestos has been removed from two of the buildings in the old strip center in preparation for a makeover. With the exception of the Lott Furniture Store and a nightclub next to that, the entire strip should have new life by the end of the year. Tenants include a new restaurant that will take up two of the current buildings, a clothing store, a medical clinic, and a New York style deli. A wine cellar is still under consideration.

"They're not chains, they're all local people," Watkins said. "The clinic you would recognize, but I can't say until they sign the deal."

The process of renovating the strip center is complicated because each building has a different owner and a different lawyer. Watkins is waiting for one master lease. He's also holding out for all of the historical tax credits he can get, about $5 million worth.

But, there's no more waiting on foot traffic along East Capitol Street. Downtown Jackson Partners President Ben Allen said he feels cleansed by what's already happened here. "Downtown traffic is incredible compared to what it was. We've got a long way to go, but we're well on the way," he said.

WLBT News Link

Developer's website:
http://www.watkinspartners.com/Standard%20Life.htm

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Old Posted Mar 31, 2010, 8:03 PM
jacksonian jacksonian is offline
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Update on Downtown Riverwalk & Town Lake

Developers have released conceptual drawings of a riverwalk for Downtown Jackson that includes a lake at the south end of Downtown with a marina. An outdoor theater surrounded by green space will be located on the lake's edge on the east side, near the marina. The north end of the riverwalk will meander adjacent to the Farish Street Entertainment District which is under construction currently. Currently, Town Creek (a natural creek that will fill the lake) bisects Downtown, entering from the north and exiting from the south, yet a large portion of the creek runs beneath the streets and buildings of Downtown.

Here is a map showing where Town Creek is located in Downtown - the creek goes underground at Griffith Street and emerges at Court Street (north is up):


Aerial view of Riverwalk & Town Lake concept (north is to the right in this one):


A South to North view of the Entertainment District:


This is a rendering of a typical bridge/overpass over the RiverWalk. The channel is 10 feet below grade and will be 4-feet deep. And, ALL man-made:


RiverWalk meandering between King Edward and Standard Life Buildings:


A North-to-South view of the Entertainment District towards King Edward:


Town Lake, a 35 acre lake created by flooding town creek. This lake will also provide flood relief from back water flooding of Town Creek in downtown Jackson:


The "Mississippi Music Bowl" fashioned after the Hollywood Bowl in L.A. Very cool:


Mississippi Arts District with "Mississippi Music Bowl" as the centerpiece:


Concepts for a new arts venue in the Jackson/Mississippi Arts District (Thalia Mara Hall already exists - top left):
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  #14  
Old Posted Mar 31, 2010, 8:12 PM
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Standard Life Building Update

Renderings of the Standard Life Building apartments were recently released. The building is under renovation and slated to be complete September 2010.



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  #15  
Old Posted Apr 1, 2010, 4:33 AM
jowens jowens is offline
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Originally Posted by jacksonian View Post
Tenants include a new restaurant that will take up two of the current buildings, a clothing store, a medical clinic, and a New York style deli. A wine cellar is still under consideration.

"They're not chains, they're all local people," Watkins said. "The clinic you would recognize, but I can't say until they sign the deal."

Keeping it local is awesome!!

Love whats happening in Jackson!!!
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Old Posted Apr 1, 2010, 2:05 PM
Prahaboheme Prahaboheme is offline
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This plan reminds me a lot of the redevelopment of Providence; in my eyes, that is a very good thing!
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  #17  
Old Posted Apr 1, 2010, 2:33 PM
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nice thread!

i lived in jackson for a year (during my fifth year of architecture school at mississippi state). rented an apartment in the belhaven neighborhood.

glad to see the city is doing well!
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Old Posted Apr 1, 2010, 3:37 PM
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wow, Jackson has more going on than Birmingham.
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Old Posted Apr 4, 2010, 3:57 AM
jacksonian jacksonian is offline
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nice thread!

i lived in jackson for a year (during my fifth year of architecture school at mississippi state). rented an apartment in the belhaven neighborhood.

glad to see the city is doing well!
I went to school there as well.

Where are you now?
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  #20  
Old Posted Apr 6, 2010, 5:57 PM
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Architect magazine - Jackson, Mississippi
March 11, 2010



Yazoo clay, a mudrock deposit under metropolitan Jackson, Miss., wreaks havoc on building foundations. The material’s volume can expand 10 percent with just a 4 percent increase in moisture. But local construction companies and engineers have developed standards for deeper piles and moisture management that keeps the clay stable. That, combined with public funding, has cranes in the air around the so-called Crossroads of the South.

“Downtown Jackson is in the midst of the biggest renaissance in its 200-year history,” crows Charles Alexander, a partner at hometown firm Dale and Associates Architects. But there is one challenge, he laments: a lack of available local financing. “Attempts to interest local banking entities in participating in development opportunities has been met with less-than-favorable results,” Alexander says. “Bankers are taking a wait-and-see attitude.”

But that hasn’t dampened spirits in author Eudora Welty’s hometown. Corinne Fox, director of the city’s Department of Planning and Development, says that thanks to a Downtown Strategic Plan completed by the city in 2004, “19 private projects totaling $1.5 billion are being planned or are under construction. Public projects represent a total of $400 million.”

Although Jackson’s population is on the decline, locals are bullish on the city’s future. “Jackson’s people and our civic organizations are actively working to increase attractions and services to the surrounding region,” says Steve Davis, vice president of local firm Canizaro Cawthon Davis. For instance, organizations in the Fondren and Belhaven neighborhoods are engaged in community visioning designed to drive development that meets local needs. “Our strengths include a vibrant and diverse group of citizens pulling together for Jackson’s success,” Davis says. “Because we avoided much of the excess of the 2000s, we have also been spared much of the pain.”

POPULATION/EMPLOYMENT
Current population: 175,710, but growth is -4.4%. Job growth: down 0.6% since 2008.

OFFICE MARKET
Space in the 1.1-million-s.f. office market ranges from $17/s.f. to $25.50/s.f.

RESIDENTIAL MARKET
Median home sale price, May 2009: $93,000.

MARKET STRENGTHS
• Proximity to Dallas, Atlanta
• State’s only true urban center
• Low cost of living

MARKET CONCERNS
• Declining population
• Aging infrastructure
• Limited private financing

FORECAST
“The city’s primary strength is people with vision and a can-do attitude,” says Dale and Associates Architects partner Charles Alexander. “New energy and forward-looking organizations are also a winning combination. Jackson is fertile ground for launching new ideas.”
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