CLINTON — Real estate development comes naturally to 28-year-old Trey Baxter.
His father, R.H. Baxter of Baxter Properties, which is in Clinton, has been involved with real estate development since the 1980s. He has bought and renovated homes in Clinton’s Olde Towne. An older brother, Richie, is also involved with Baxter Properties.
Baxter became interested in his father’s business in the late 1990s, he recalled.
Three years ago, Baxter started The Herron Company, his real estate development business.
He has bought about eight buildings, some houses and some apartments and renovated them.
Baxter’s first construction project, four condos in Olde Towne Clinton, is on the drawing board. It would be the first new construction for the area in a long time. “I thought newer condos might rent and sell well,” he said.
The site on Capitol Street in Clinton measures 75 feet wide and 200 feet deep. Baxter’s plans are to build four new condos and rent or sell them to Mississippi College (MC) students. “I saw a need for them,” said Baxter.
A graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi, he said his best business advice has come from his father.
“Always operate with honesty and integrity and everything will work out in the end,” said Trey Baxter about his father’s business advice.
While he pursues developing real estate, the younger Baxter continues to work as a medical sales representative. Baxter said, “There is a possibility of giving that up in the future.”
Several months ago, Baxter took his project to the Clinton Planning Commission with a preliminary site plan. At the time, he hoped to build four cottages that would be marketed to MC students. The commission recommended his preliminary site plan for approval, which the city concurred with.
Then, Baxter hit a snag. He found that the cost of building materials had increased and that it wouldn’t be feasible to build the cottages. He plans to go back to the city soon to get preliminary site plan approval for his condos. A local architect is drawing some sketches for Baxter so he can show officials what the condos will look like.
Baxter said the cottages would have cost about $82,000 apiece. The condos, he added, will be less expensive, but will be upscale developments. They will include two bedrooms and will be for two students, if rented. His goal is to begin construction by May. “I’m anxious to get started,” he added.
He grew up in Olde Towne and lives nearby. “I want to see Clinton’s Olde Towne thrive. Younger people aren’t staying in Clinton, because they can’t find housing in their price range,” said Baxter.
“Trey Baxter is a visionary whose vision is in concert with the community as evidenced by the charrette process,” said Ryan Tracy, a member of the city’s planning commission.
He was referring to the city’s intensive planning session last year, which focused primarily on Olde Towne, just as Baxter wants to do with his development.
Planners, who helped put on the charrette in Clinton, recommended projects like Baxter’s that would put condensed housing in Olde Towne. “There is a lot of land that could be built on to increase foot traffic in Olde Towne,” said Baxter, who attended the charrette.
Both Baxter and Tracy were recently named to the city’s new Main Street board, which will help promote economic development in Olde Towne and other areas of Clinton.