Crews work on framing the upper floors of The 200, under construction at the corner of Jackson and Glick (JTV Photos)
Private investment in Downtown Jackson developments from 2015 through this quarter of 2019 has surpassed $100,000,000 according to figures provided by the City of Jackson.
More than sixty projects ranging from brand new apartment buildings to new retail shops are completed, under-way or about to begin construction. The largest investment is $16,000,000 by General Capital for the development of Albert Kahn Lofts, 73 low to moderate income apartments on the site of the former Citizen Patriot building.
According to City Manager Patrick Burtch, the bulk of the investment is in housing. More than 360 renovated or new housing units are represented in the investment total. “With 400 residential units, we should be able to attract interest from a grocery store, gas station and other necessary services for a downtown residential community,” said Burtch.
The other residential projects are: Lofts on Louis, 30 market rate apartments (completed), Francis Street Lofts, 46 low to moderate rate apartments, The 200, 86 market rate apartments, The Otsego, 76 low to moderate rate apartments (completed), and The Elaine, 29 low to moderate rate apartments (completed). About two dozen apartment units have been created in upper floor space in existing buildings in the past two years.
The project list does not include several projects not yet announced that are being contemplated by developers. “Another apartment building, office development, banking center and other projects are in the early stages,” said Burtch.
New restaurants, bars, retailers, offices and entertainment establishments have injected new excitement into the downtown according to DDA Executive Director Cory Mays. “Downtown Jackson is in an amazing spot right now. New businesses, events, streets are buzzing and the sidewalks are filled, “ said Mays.
Last week, more than a dozen downtown shops and restaurants partnered for “Sip & Shop”; offering refreshments, specials and prizes during a 3 hour evening period. Pouring wine at new shop “The Blessed Nest”, Travis Moore said there were more than 80 people in the store at any one time all evening.
Jacque Austin, chairperson of the DDA and owner of The Orange Peacock Gallery said all participating merchants were very happy with the response. “We are already thinking of what we might do next” she said. “Everyone seemed to have a really good time”.
Burtch said all this investment is private and includes very little financial participation by the city. Exceptions are land and demolition provided to one developer, and tax incentives provided through PILOT on four apartment developments.
Much of this new development should provide new revenue to the City of Jackson by way of taxes. According to Burtch, the city anticipates increases in property tax, income tax, and water/sewer revenue between $372,000 to $539,000 annually.
Several new businesses have opened in the past year in Downtown Jackson. They include: Veritas, The Blessed Nest, Axe Play, Jackson Candle Company, Healthies 101, Charles Schwab, Rustic Market, Chem-Dry, Post-Net, Tilted, Family Service & Children’s Aid, Ruoff Home Mortgage, Windy Hill Creations, County National Bank and Sky Executive Suites. Opening in December is Christoff & Sons Floor Covering, moving into the former Toy House building.
Various entrepreneurs have indicated plans to open in 2020 an ice cream shop, a Cajun style restaurant, bakery, craft burger restaurant, brewery, salon, deli, coffee shop, and real estate office. Also in 2020, Jackson School of the Arts will get a new name, Jackson Center for the Arts, and relocate to the former Vermeulen’s building, currently under renovation.