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JXN // progress

Iron Horse, Baptist Full Speed Ahead As Farish Stalls // by Jacob D. Fuller

County Sheriff’s Department. Wright plans to expand the Promenade’s Galleria office park and event center, adding 24,000 square feet of spaces for weddings, conferences and other functions. trip burns

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New Med School Ahead?

On Jan. 7, Gov. Phil Bryant and University of Mississippi Chancellor Dan Jones joined other local and state leaders to break ground on what will become the state’s first new medical school building since 1955. Bryant and Jones said they believe the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s new School of Medicine will be the first step to a healthier population in one of the least-healthy states in the nation. The governor hopes the 151,000-square-foot, $63-million facility will draw in more of the nation’s top medical students and provide a vital tool in reversing the state’s poor health trends. The new facility will increase the school’s incoming class size from 135 to more than 160 students. In October, Bryant authorized $10 million in Community Development Block Grants to help fund the facility. He hopes the state will receive more help from the federal government to finance the construction of the facility. The state will sell bonds for the remainder of the funding.

Iron Horse Rides Again After creating what one city official called the best development plans he’s seen, The Iron Horse Building, LLC, broke ground on The Iron Horse: Charcoal & Music late last year, on Dec. 10. The revamped 12,000-square-foot restaurant and live music venue on West Pearl Street,

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Watkins said he’s looking at mid-spring h, the Farish Street Entertainment District. The visions of blues bars, soul before the development group will get another clubs, restaurants and recording stu- chance at the tax credits. dios stretching two city blocks have built up in Jacksonians’ imaginations like a little girl’s dreams of her wedding day. We see the colors, hear the music and even taste the worldclass food. But like Pam Beesley waiting on Roy in “The Office,” the groom keeps rescheduling until next year. The Farish Street Group, the entertainment-district’s project development team, hoped Grand plans fall short once again for Farish Street. to close on $11 million worth of historic and New Market Tax Credits by Oct. 31, 2012. Headed by Watkins Development, it planned to Jackson Square Keeps Filling use those tax credits as collateral for a $10.2 mil In 1968, Jackson Square opened as the city’s lion bond issue from the city. That would serve as largest outdoor shopping destination, with more the final funding for the first phase of the project, than 30 stores and restaurants. Forty years later, bringing at least four entertainment venues and it was home to two bingo halls, a church and a restaurants to Farish. crumbling parking lot. The New Market Tax Credits hit a major In 2012, California native Jessie Wright and snag, though, when engineers discovered a big his firm, First Boise Investments, gambled on the problem with the building where developers almost-forgotten shopping mall located off Terry planned to house the B.B. King’s Blues Club & Road in south Jackson. With a new facade and Grill. The club, which the Farish Street Group fresh pavement in the parking lot, the gamble is hoped to be the first to open in the entertainment now paying off. district, would be a three-story music venue As of early February, 32 of the 39 units in and restaurant. Jackson Square Promenade proper have renters. David Watkins, the Farish Street Group’s The mall is thriving again, with a wide variety chief investor, said that once architects finalized of retailers and restaurants, including a coffee the plans for the club, engineers realized that the house, a comic book and collectibles store, a counseling center, a financial adviser, a wedding current structure could not handle the load capacity. When they further evaluated the building, planner, a teen center, a skating rink, a dance studio, multiple churches and clothing stores, they discovered it had no foundation and only a a blues and jazz club, and offices for the Hinds 3-inch thick floor supporting it.

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March - April 2013 // The City’s Business and Lifestyle Magazine

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BOOM Jackson v5n4 - Startup City  
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Startup City: Innovation Starts Here, Collest Offices + Fashion: A Sense of Space, Local Menu Guide, Dr. Gray Gets Real, Sharp Dressed Man,...