By Jack Weatherly
A key piece of the puzzle for revitalizing downtown Jackson is ready to be put in place.
A grocery will be installed in the 366,000-square-foot Landmark Center on Capital St. at Lamar St., according to Dyke Nelson, chief operating officer of WN Management of Baton Rouge, which manages and directs the redevelopment of the building.
Hattiesburg-based Roberts Co., will add its eighth Corner Market in Mississippi, a 17,500-square-foot space that will offer a full-service store with a deli and indoor seating. Calls to the grocer were not immediately returned.
The Landmark Center has bounced from one potential future to another in recent years.
AT&T moved out in 2012 and the University of Mississippi Medical Center withdrew from a plan to use the building two years later. The state Department of Revenue chose a site in Clinton.
Then the idea of a mixed-use conversion gained traction.
WN Management announced in 2016 a plan to put 200 apartments into the building, a plan reiterated last year.
But the amenity of a grocery will precede the apartments.
Downtown is gaining residents – with the King Edward Apartments, the Standard Life Flats, the Capitol Art Lofts, and, under construction apartments in the Lamar Life Building, as well as in the former Edison Walthall hotel.
Nelson said the Landmark plan still calls for 200 apartments.
“This is first of what we hope to be a number of announcements in the project,” Nelson said.
He said construction of the grocery should be complete by the end of next year.
He said the company has already done a project like the Landmark, the 440 on Third in Baton Rouge.
Ben Allen, president of Downtown Jackson Partners, a business improvement district, said that the 10-year lease with the Roberts Co. is a good indicator that the developer is committed to finishing the project.
Allen said the Corner Market stores are “laid out like a Fresh Market. It’s got real pretty produce, real good beef.”
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