Rebirth of a King | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Rebirth of a King

What a long, strange, trip it's been. The co-developers of the King Edward Hotel are holding a groundbreaking on March 27, at 11 a.m., after years of the project languishing in the planning stages. Developers, including Jackson attorney David Watkins, HRI Properties co-founder Pres Kabacoff and New Orleans Saints star Deuce McAllister will be on hand with Gov. Haley Barbour to celebrate the "Rebirth of Jackson's downtown and the commencement of renovation" of the King Edward.

The project suffered one painful setback after another as developers fought to secure both ownership of the building and financing for the project.

The city did its fair share of bungling the effort with a misplaced file or two, delaying some federal money for the project, with Mayor Frank Melton all the while yapping at the knees of developers, threatening to "implode" the building.

Finally, with construction vehicles parked around the massive 1920s-era hotel, developers are poised to prepare the world for inner-city living in the days of $7-a-gallon gas, when suburbs become the new ghetto, and an emerging class flees to the arms of new urbanism. Don't look for that quote on developer David Watkins' press release, but we're almost, sort of, certain he's thinking it.

The $82 million King Edward investment will produce a total of 64 upper-floor apartments, in addition to some retail space.

Previous Comments

ID
68292
Comment

I wish I could be there tomorrow to celebrate with everyone! What a great accomplishment for everyone involved.

Author
tombarnes
Date
2008-03-26T18:03:22-06:00
ID
68293
Comment

Congrats to the developers for getting this off the ground.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2008-03-26T18:35:21-06:00
ID
68294
Comment

The $82 million King Edward investment will produce a total of 64 upper-floor apartments, in addition to some retail space. And a hotel. ;-)

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2008-03-26T20:01:55-06:00
ID
68295
Comment

Yeah, can't forget about the hotel. How about free office space for the JFP?

Author
golden eagle
Date
2008-03-26T22:01:54-06:00
ID
68296
Comment

The ceremony today is an opportunity to recognize the many, many people who helped make the restoration of the King Edward a reality. There will be a media staged ceremonial "rubble shovel" inside the lobby of the King Edward right at 11 for about 10-15 minutes. Because of safety, insurance, etc of an ongoing construction site, unlike with new construction, the shovel part will be limited to the participants, but will be broadcast live on monitors in the ballroom of the train station. After the shovel bit, we'll walk back to the train station and listen to remarks by Gov. Haley Barbour, Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant, Speaker Billy McCoy, Deuce McAllister and Pres Kabacoff. (all speeches are SHORT, though). There will be a reception catered by Broad Street; videos and design boards of the interior will be placed in the ballroom for viewing by guests. We're also giving tours of the lobby of the King Edward for those that are interested. Everyone is invited. We want to share this bit of making of history with the greater Jackson community and with all of Mississippi. It's a good day to be in Jackson. David Watkins Watkins Partners King Edward Revitalization Company LLC

Author
Pops
Date
2008-03-27T05:34:50-06:00
ID
68297
Comment

I'm there dude!! I am so excited.

Author
andi
Date
2008-03-27T07:47:19-06:00
ID
68298
Comment

That was so much fun. It was so cool to see the inside of the lobby and to see the plans for the renovations. I am so proud that the King Edward is coming back!

Author
andi
Date
2008-03-27T12:35:09-06:00
ID
68299
Comment

Wish I could have been there. Guess I'll have to wait for the grand opening. :-)

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2008-03-27T12:40:46-06:00
ID
68300
Comment

David, I was there, too and I enjoyed your speech and the speech by the governor - wow! The image of a jewel is staying in my mind and I'm so glad to have witnessed the event. Ich ben ein Jacksonian, too!!!

Author
Izzy
Date
2008-03-27T13:26:55-06:00
ID
68301
Comment

Yes, great speech Mr. Watkins. The excitement was palpable. The interior really looks horrible, but I'm glad that I got to see it. I look forward to telling my children "I remember when the King Edward was a dump!"

Author
QB
Date
2008-03-27T13:36:34-06:00

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