The brightly colored blue and gold building that sits on the corner of North State Street and Fondren Place and clearly reads "Fondren Corner" in bold cursive silver writing has become a favorite of many local students and Jacksonians who talk daily about the good food, original art and endless shopping opportunities one can find in this labyrinth five-story mixed-use building. It also contains studio and living space for young artists.
"I feel that local artists are the real energy in this neighborhood," says Fondren Corner developer Mike Peters from his office there. "I feel that it is important for them to have a place here, if not in this building, in smaller spaces that allow the younger artists to get started."
Peters, 49, works hard managing his real-estate business and keeping tabs on his busy lifestyle as a family man, property manager and investor. The native Texan has lived in Jackson most of his life and has been married 28 years to Anne Peters, who was his high school sweetheart at Jackson Prep.
"My company is made up of a small team of people who work hard to get everything done," he says.
Peters founded Peters Real Estate in March 1995, and, for the last 10 years, has been revitalizing and rehabilitating the city of Jackson with a variety of property investments such as the English Village on Fortification and the Plaza Building in downtown Jackson.
What Peters has done with this project is give many Jackson residents a sense of fulfillment that we are moving forward and reaching our city's potential. Peters is dedicated to the idea of "mixed" development such as in Fondren Corner—the building houses retail offices, residential apartments and commercial business all together under one roof. And other real-estate businesses can take advantage of Peters' vision and expertise—they offer their services to help manage, maintain and run successful day-to-day business developments.
What keeps Mike Peters here in Jackson? "This is where I grew up," he says. "I have very fond memories of Jackson. I don't see Jackson in a negative light. Jackson to me has great potential, great people and great neighborhoods."
Peters adds: "The people I went to school with, the people I deal with and know: that's what makes it wonderful. I would hate to wake up in another city and be doing business with perfect strangers."