John Lawrence, president of Downtown Jackson Partners, said developers have big plans for a section of Entergy-owned territory along Commerce Street, in downtown Jackson, and urged council members to work with them before time runs out.
"What's happened over the past four or five months is requests for proposals have been put together and issued (for development of the property), and on Aug. 28, those proposals will come in. On Aug. 29, we're ready to get moving when somebody's chosen," Lawrence said at the City Council work session. "The clock is ticking … and (developers) will need to move really fast."
Recent legislation allowing special tax breaks to developers working in Katrina-ravaged areas is sweetening the deal for proposed projects that have been stalled for years for lack of financial backers. Tax breaks from federal GO Zone Legislation is already injecting new life into endeavors like the King Edward Hotel renovation.
Entergy Vice Chairman of Community Development Haley Fisackerly said developers will need the city to take the reins on issues like water and sewer development if the city wants development on the Commerce Street property, called the Capitol Green Project, to move forward.
"These developers have been able to attract investors because of GO Zone, but when September 1 hits, there'll be only 28 months left in GO Zone, so if we eat up a lot of time doing things that the city could be doing now, we may miss that window," Fisackerly said. "Let's go over some details, so when we do announce a developer, we're not playing the waiting game and we can do what we need to do."
Council President Ben Allen, who is pushing for the city to grant resort status to the Commerce Street property, said the city will suffer responsibility for any failures.
"If this gets held up, it's going to be our fault, because the private investors have some things that have to happen by the city and … we're going to be accountable if it doesn't happen now," Allen told the council.
Just now seeing this online... I guess I'm not used to the subheadings under the individual sections ("Talk of Jackson", etc.). It does make sense to me now, but for a while I'd been thinking that a lot of the print stories weren't making the online edition because they didn't jump out and grab me.
Is this just an FYI kind of article or has the city been uncooperative here??
Sorry, millhouse. We've been trying to streamline the site a bit. Be sure to click on the link at the top of each section (Noise, Cover Stories, Talks, etc.) for a much better landing page for each section and better archives.
As for the city being uncooperative, I'm not following. The city council president is quoted here.
Otherwise, this is a news *brief*. There will be much more development-type stuff in our birthday issue package (Sept. 21). I'm not sure everyone knows this, but our birthday issue each year is kind of our State of the City issue, focusing on Jackson's progress. We've done that since our first very issue was Todd's now-famous "Rise of the Creative Class" story.
In other words, lots more to come soon.
Thanks for the clarification. All the talk of blame being placed solely on Jackson if this project fell through had me wondering if something had happened or if this was just, like you say, a news brief.