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‘Respect for the past’ part of Jordan’s development philosophy

RIDGELAND — Mark S. Jordan Companies has been a force in residential and commercial development of Madison County since 1978, when Jordan established a new-home construction company called Good Earth Development.

After moving into real estate development in 1984, the developer has created some of the most upscale neighborhoods in the metro area, including Dinsmor, Bridgepointe and Lake Caroline. With a degree in landscape architecture from Mississippi State University and experience studying abroad, Jordan has made his impact in the area in community-minded ways, from tree-preservation programs that won the Global ReLeaf for New Communities Award to recycling policies on the construction lots practiced by Buildmark, Jordan’s building division.

The newest venture was put on public display in February when the Battley-Redmont House was exhibited as the 11th-annual St. Andrew’s Designer Showcase, giving many in the area their first introduction to Greenwood Plantation, a 43-acre residential development Jordan opened in January.

Built in 1854 by Col. William F. Battley, the antebellum structure was purchased by Jordan in 2000 from the Redmont family, who had lived in the home since 1942. Battley, a cotton planter, built the home for his second wife and according to local legend, it was spared during the Civil War because the Union general, a Mason, noticed the organization’s emblem above the home’s door. The Battley family owned the home until 1925.

Much of the architectural detail remains in the Greek Revival home, including the large entrance hall, hand-fired brick in the cellar, foundation and chimney, a Greek Revival staircase and the original baseboards. William Nichols, who designed the Governor’s Mansion and the Old Capitol, is thought to have been the architect behind the home’s construction.

Jordan was intent to preserve the history of the home throughout the development and restoration in the home.

“I was motivated out of respect for the past to keep our heritage alive,” said Jordan. “I wanted to make sure the past history of the house was preserved.”

The development itself is divided into 45 lots, with finished homes starting out at $600,000 and undeveloped estate-sized lots priced at $105,000, according to Jordan. Amenities in the development include a gated guardhouse and a reflection pool on the grounds. The Battley-Redmond House is available for purchase, with or without the furnishings and decorator touches included as a result of the Showcase renovation, said Jordan.

Original trees still thrive on the home’s grounds, including a 300-year-old cedar and a 250-year-old magnolia in the front lawn. The original plantation was much larger than the current development; Greenwood Plantation’s property line ran from Old Agency Road to the north, the edge of what is now Dinsmor to the west, another mile eastwards and 1.5 miles south, according to Cathy Pitfield, publicity chair for St. Andrew’s Designer Showcase.

This year’s St. Andrew’s Designer Showcase marks another successful collaboration between the St. Andrew’s Parent’s Association and Mark S. Jordan Companies. Last year, the Parent’s Association took on the challenge of developing, building and decorating a spacious 5,000-square-foot new-home construction on a lot donated by Jordan at 206 Valley Road in Silas Meadow/Dinsmor in Ridgeland. The two-story French Acadian-style home was a year-long design/build project constructed by Acadian Homes/Nancy Price Interior Design of Brandon, owned by John and Nancy Price.

Jordan had been approached about the possibility of using the Battley-Redmond House in advance of the meetings held to flesh out the details.

“Of course he was familiar since he’d been involved last year,” said Alison Harkey, chair for the 2002 event. “We had been looking for a house for the Showcase sort of unsuccessfully for several months.”

“We are flattered to be working with Mark S. Jordan again this year,” said Harkey. “He has been such an important part of the development of the community of Ridgeland that is home to the St. Andrew’s North Campus.”

Contact MBJ contributing writer at Julie Whitehead at mbj@msbusiness.com.

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