Have you ever driven downtown (any city, USA), looked at vacant buildings and thought, gee, it would be nice to renovate that old building? Maybe even construct a loft apartment so you could live & work in the same place? I have, but maybe that's just me.
The Jackson Association of Realtors (MS) had their monthly meeting today. Our special guest was Ben Allen of Downtown Jackson Partners, who shared with us several proposed revitalization projects in the downtown area. The projects include the King Edward Hotel, Standard Life Building, and the Farish Street project, to name a few. Mr. Allen said the Farish Street project was one of the most frustrating projects the city has ever endured, but that it was only 5% of the total project. It is noteworthy that the King Edward Hotel has been vacant since 1965. The total investment to revitalize downtown Jackson is 2.3 billion (with a B) dollars, with a majority of the funds coming from out of state.
Mr. Allen mentioned some statistics, stating 90% of people want to live in the suburbs, which is where most Realtors spend their greatest efforts. But that leaves 10% of the population who prefer the urban lifestyle. He made an interesting observation, especially to me, by mentioning my hometown of Columbus, MS. Some 20 years ago, no-one, and I mean no-one, wanted anything to do with downtown Columbus. Buildings were dilapidated, crumbling, and vacant. Fast-forward 20 years later, and downtown Columbus is one of the most charming areas I've seen throughout the southeast. The storefront facades resemble cute little cottages, there are quality restaurant choices within walking distance of office and retail, and there are loft apartments above the retail and office spaces.
Mr. Allen gave a very informative, enthusiastic talk which was a pre-cursor to an October 15th meeting, where we Realtors will be giving an in-depth presentation of the numerous happenings in our downtown area. It's important for Realtors to be knowledgable about the growth and changes in their market area, so you can bet I'll be at the next meeting to see what Jackson is building!
Written and Published by Pat Starnes REALTOR
Pat specializes in Residential and New Home Sales
Primary Service Area:
Brandon, Pearl, Ridgeland, Flowood and the Ross Barnett Reservoir area
Pat Starnes, Broker Associate
Front Gate Real Estate, 6700 Old Canton Rd., Suite C
Ridgeland, MS 39157
601-278-4513 - Cell
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