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tombarnes

Standard Life Building

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Standard Life Building

The Standard Life Building will soon see new life as a mixed-use project including hotel rooms, apartments and offices. The question right now is which of three developers will be given the contract....The Roberts Group of St. Louis is bidding on the project. Followers of the King Edward saga will recall that the Roberts Group had submitted a proposal to restore the King Edward which came to nothing. The Mayor's favorite developer, Mark Small, is also submitting a proposal. This is really Gene Phillips in disguise. If this one is selected, I'd guess that Frank Melton's machine has won another victory. My preference is for the proposal from the Watkins Group of Jackson. The three proposals are being considered by the Jackson Redevelopment Authority. An announcement could come as early as today. Buried in the article is news that the Small group has been selected to develop the convention center hotel project. I'll try to find more about this.

The Clarion Ledger

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Watkins/McAllister/HRI Group Chosen for Project

The JRA agreed today to proceed with the proposal submitted by the Watkins Partners, Deuce McAllister and HRI of New Orleans. This is great news as the project will tie into the King Edward project already underway. The King Edward and the Standard Life building will share parking. I assume that a garage may be built on the Standard Life parcel. Plans call for up to 58 apartments and 3000+ sq. feet of retail and office space. This is excellent news for downtown Jackson!

The Clarion Ledger

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CL Editorial Piece Today

At least the Clarion-Ledger is singing the praises of this project, even if the peanut gallery from the suburbs isn't singing in harmony. I find the comment in the newspaper article below to be unfortunately representative of the attitude of many who have essentially given up on downtown Jackson. How this development could not be seen in a positive light by just about anyone is breathtaking. I will agree that the point raised about Jackson's current leadership is sadly true. Melton isn't doing Jackjson many favors, at least not in terms of inspiring confidence in the city. Jackson's downtown is poised for a big comeback, but all the suburbanites can do is hurl barbs at the city from their suburban shells. Is the Clarion-Ledger ifnally changing its tune and promoting downtown as it ought to? Perhaps. This in itself is a good thing. The saddest thing of all is that the uphill fight Jackson faces is made all the more difficult by many of the residents of its own metro area.

The Clarion-Ledger

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Another Profile of Deuce McAllister

Another profile of Deuce McAllister, one of the developers of the Standard Life building. I was unaware that his company had been selected to manage the convention center. Once these projects start to get off the ground, I believe that others will follow.

The Clarion Ledger

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City Council Questioned About Selection

The City Council has been questioned about its selection of HRI over the Roberts Group for the renovation of the Standard Life building. The $2m difference would appear to be significant in light of Jackson's current budget crisis. In answer, the HRI proposal offered much greater detail and evidence of thorough planning than the latter proposal. It would be good to see the Roberts Group return to Jackson with another project, an event which seems likely. In any event, we should soon be hearing more from the Watkins/HRI team about the King Edward and Standard Life buildings shortly. I expect that financing should be fully completed within a month.

The Jackson Free Press

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Work on the Standard Life Building has been delayed, but is expected to begin within a few months. The project is still expected to be completed next year and ought to be opening in tandem with the King Edward. While there is major work to be done in the building, it isn't in nearly the dire condition of the King Edward and construction should proceed without incident.

The Northside Sun

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I didn't know that the Standard Life Building was scheduled to re-open the same time as the King Edward, that will be a nice boost the the urban landscape all at once by having those two great structures come back into the fabric of downtown at the same point in time.

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Standard Life and Capital Center Projects- Update

The deadline for the financing of the Standard Life building is approaching. David Watkins expexts to have the financing issues wrapped up within a month so that the construction phase can begin by August. What had been an apparently easy project has changed somewhat with the requirements of an additional stairwell in the building. As the building is concrete, carving out a stairway is no small task. It also reduces the amout of rentable space in the renovated building. Given all the obstacles Watkins has facesd, it's a testament to his drive to rebuild downtown Jackson that he hasn't thrown in the towel.

The Clarion-Ledger

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^ Hopefully Mr. Watkins will be able to finance and get this project started in August, as the Standard Life Bldg. is just too significant and imposing structure to not have redeveloped back into a productive use.

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David Watkins has a lot on his plate right now- especially with the Farish Street project. Fortunately, he has shown the interest and fervor for downtown Jackson that others have been slow to kindle. Given what has already happened with the King Edward, there's a certainty to the rest of the projects which are to follow. The King Edward and the Standard Life buildings are the keystones, but the Farish Street project will also be augmented by the renovation of buildings and storefronts on West Capitol Street. The potential for a vibrant area is palpable.

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Council to Consider Standard Life Project Loan Today

The Jackson City Council will consider a loan to assist with the development of the Standard Life Building this afternoon. For many reasons, this project is pivotal in the redevelopment of downtown Jackson. The ignorance of the comments at the end of the article referenced below is one of the hurdles that those who believe in the city must overcome. Downtown Jackson is rising before their eyes and they refuse to see it.

The Clarion-Ledger

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Standard Life Loan Approved

The city council has approved the $900k loan to HRI/Watkins Partners to begin the reconstruction/renovation of the Standard Life buiulding into high-end apartments. This is great news for the city.

The Clarion-Ledger

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Standard Life- Purchase Delay

The purchase date for the Standard Life building may be delayed for about a month by Capital One, the institution providing financing to the HRI/Watkins Partners who are converting the former office building into high-end apartments. As work has already begun insode, I don't think this will have much bearing upon the construction schedule. One never knows.

The Jackson Free Press

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The Standard Life Building project will go forward. Today, the City Council approved a $900,000 loan to the developers who will eventually repay the city $1.7m when the apartments have been converted into condominium units. Work is expected to begin shortly.

The Clarion-Ledger

I have a few pictures of the building which I took last June. I'll try to get them posted shortly.

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There has been no news on the Standard Life Building conversion project. Has it already sarted or still planning to begin?

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There has been no news on the Standard Life Building conversion project. Has it already sarted or still planning to begin?

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I was given a walk-through tour in early January. The renovation is well underway and the building is expected to reopen this fall. Will post pictures soon.

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