Farish Street, Capitol Green Moving Forward | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Farish Street, Capitol Green Moving Forward

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The Farish Street Group is requesting public financing to help develop the Farish Street Entertainment District.

B.B. King Blues Club has signed a lease deal with Farish Street developer Watkins Development, LLC. John Reeves, a member of the Jackson Redevelopment Authority, confirmed the deal this morning that aims to put a Beale Street mainstay in Jackson.

"It's been a long road getting this project from the drawing board to reality, and my hat is off to David Watkins and his group for what they've done and what they're doing," said John Reeves, Jackson Redevelopment Authority board member.

B.B. King Blues Club signed the deal to put a club into a refurbished building near the intersection of Farish and Amite streets, a historically-designated area that Watkins Development has renovated to resemble its pre-integregation heyday.

The announcement comes almost three years after Watkins took over the Farish Street District renovation project from Memphis developer Performa Entertainment. Watkins paid Performa more than $400,000 and assumed $1.5 million in debt after Performa proved unable to complete the renovation. Development on the first phase of the Farish Street Entertainment project will conclude this summer, states Watkins Development on its website.

The lease deal comes with additional investment requirements on Watkins' part, Reeves added, although he would not speak on the nature or price tag of the additional investment.

"There are some details in the leases that have to be fulfilled, but we're confident they'll be worked out and they can get these tenants in these properties as soon as possible," Reeves said.

Watkins Development CEO David Watkins and company Vice President Jason Goree did not immediately return calls for comment.

Reeves also said that the JRA expects Full Spectrum Inc. to begin construction on a $27 million robot-assisted parking garage this year.

"I'm excited that the Old Capital Green project is about to become a reality. Dirt will turn on the first project within six months," Reeves said. "We're talking about an automated parking garage and two multi-story buildings with retail, residential and office space. It's a multi-million dollar project, and it's a reality--it's not a maybe. It's done."

With money in hand, Full Spectrum plans to build the $27 million garage and an adjoining $4 million multiple-building heating and cooling mechanics as a component of the first phase of the mixed-use Old Capitol Green Project, which will eventually expand along Jefferson Street in downtown Jackson. The company is moving forward with development this year using $29 million in Jackson Redevelopment Authority bonds and New Market Tax Credits. Malcolm Shepherd, Full Spectrum development director, said the company also received approval for $45 million in industrial revenue bonds through the Mississippi Business Finance Corp.

The JRA Project Committee approved the $29 million bond this month. Reeves said he expects the full JRA board to also grant approval on the bond at its next meeting.

Previous Comments

ID
163772
Comment

What's REALLY going on with Farish? Was the BB King news just a smokescreen? Can someone from JFP find out? http://www.clarionledger.com/article/20110608/NEWS/106080334/Farish-St-district-back-shelf?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|Home

Author
trusip
Date
2011-06-08T06:18:29-06:00
ID
163776
Comment

After reading the C-L article this morning, its hard to believe the rosy picture painted by this JFP article.

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2011-06-08T11:29:34-06:00
ID
163784
Comment

Jeff, Just read the story again closely and see if anywhere in it there is a quote from anybody that has any direct knowledge about the project. There is nothing in there from my company or from the Farish Street Group development company or from anybody that is even remotely involved in the development. In other words, there are NO FACTS supporting this stupid story. It's hard to believe that any self-respecting reporter would base their entire story on hearsay reports and make no serious effort to contact the parties with the information. Shame on you, Bill Campbell. Just so you and everybody else knows, this project has NOT been shelved! I have the cancelled checks for about $100,000 a week on subcontractors to prove that. So, Mr. Campbell, get your facts straight and try to focus on what the real story is instead of some cheesy, misleading headline. David Watkins CEO, Watkins Development Managing Member, Farish Street Group, LLC

Author
Pops
Date
2011-06-08T21:04:05-06:00
ID
163792
Comment

Why is David Watkins replying to a recent comment made on May 26 article? After the Clarion Ledger article came out, he could have simply sat down with them and shown them the cancelled checks, contracts with BB Kings and other businesses, etc. It would have also been helpful if Mr. Watkins did not hang up on the Clarion Ledger reporter. I know this won't get posted b/c the JFP is just like a political campaign as you don't actually reort news. Instead you have to control the message. This despite the fact that you claim you promote people making "informed decisions." Oh God, that's hilarious! The good thing is that 80% of people that know the JFP exists, understand that your publication is a complete joke. Thanks for proving OUR point once again. Peace out, suckas!!!!

Author
Dave Coleman
Date
2011-06-09T08:37:08-06:00
ID
163795
Comment

Dave: One reason not to post a comment like yours is because you're saying things that really don't add to the discussion and that you may not know are true, but I've gone ahead because (a.) your statements are your own responsibility and (b.) just to let folks know the level of dialog they can expect out of you. I imagine "Pops" posted above because the *replies* to this piece above occurred yesterday, right?

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2011-06-09T11:40:49-06:00
ID
163796
Comment

Dave Coleman, The better question is why did the Clarion Ledger not do enough responsible reporting to make contact with me before than ran an inaccurate story? I did not hang up on anybody, for God's sake. I got a single call from an unknown cell phone number with a "318" area code and no C.L. caller id. The call came when I was in the middle of a groundbreaking ceremony in Meridian. I reached to turn the phone off, not to hang up. And, there was NO message left for me. Nobody from the C.L called me back, nobody left a message, nobody called my office, nobody called my home, period. Now, Mr. Coleman, how in the world can one, in good conscience say that I "hung up on them" and how can you defend the reporter's feeble attempt to talk to me. I did call the editor of the Clarion Ledger to complain that the story was not factual. The rather lame response I got was that "the City Council opened up the subject; they are the ones that owe me an apology." With all due respect, accurately reporting inaccurate facts does not magically make those facts accurate! For me, I'm still stuck on how the story could be written and published without having talked to at least ONE source that had any direct information on the subject, which did not happen. I have always been transparent on public-private projects. The other media outlets who contacted me had no problem getting the information necessary to prove that work is still going on. Mr. Coleman, I don't know who you are. But, your comment is not well taken. You should get your facts straight and not assume to be true everything you read or have "heard." David Watkins

Author
Pops
Date
2011-06-09T14:11:40-06:00
ID
163804
Comment

tell 'em, Pops

Author
Izzy
Date
2011-06-10T08:57:27-06:00

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