Developers see an opportunity to turn a rundown, partially vacant block of West Capitol Street into artists’ lofts and galleries.
Photo by Courtesy HRI Properties
Plans to spruce up what many people consider to be an eyesore across from the King Edward are finally a go.
The Mississippi Home Corporation awarded New Orleans-based HRI Properties housing tax credits for the proposed Capitol Art Lofts project, the company said today.
With the credits in hand, HRI plans to start construction later this year and finish in late 2016.
Announced in 2013, plans call for 31 moderately priced loft apartments that would include fitness and business centers as well as space for art galleries and studios.
Josh Collen, vice president for development for HRI, which renovated the King Edward and Standard Life Building, said artists and health-care professionals would receive a leasing preference.
"We feel strongly about downtown Jackson and Capitol Street in particular," Collen told the JFP in March, adding that the two-waying of the street and sidewalk repairs now under way would be a great thing for the lofts development.
Capitol Street is slated to be opened up for two way traffic this weekend.
“Bringing additional residents into this neighborhood is an important step for the area’s redevelopment. Additional shops, amenities, hospitality and entertainment will certainly follow," Collen said through a news release.
Eric Jefferson, director of the city of Jackson's Department of Planning and Development, said the project is a $10 million investment.
The project is part of the West Capitol Street Historic District, which includes Art Deco architecture and a variety of styles and type of ornamentation popular during this era (e.g. Queen Anne, Sullivanesque, Colonial Revival, and Art Deco, and Spanish Colonial Revival). The district also reflects the earlier importance of West Capitol Street as a turn-of-the century commercial center and the subsequent growth and development of the capital city in the 1920s.
It is a vitally important visual record of the commercial history of Jackson, HRI said.