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OPINION: ‘Downtown’ feels good as new home

The response to a simple, but basic, question flows more easily today, even with a touch of pride.

“Where’s your office?” is the inquiry.

There are many answers, all good.

• 200 North Congress Street, Suite 400, in downtown Jackson.

• At the corner of Congress and Amite Streets.

• Across from Smith Park.

• Cattycorner from the back of the Governor’s Mansion.

• Two blocks south of the State Capitol and just a block away from the historic Galloway Methodist Church.

• Between Tye’s Restaurant and the Mississippi state Republican headquarters.

• In the same building that houses Catholic Charities, Parents for Public Schools, the law firm of Royals and Mayfield and ABMB Engineers Inc.

• Where Magnolia Federal used to be.

• On the same block as the original home of our publication.

• Or in the now fully occupied, six-floor building renovated by John Ditto and his associates with Congress Street Investors, LLC.

And we couldn’t be more pleased.

The move downtown is not by accident. Our search for a new Mississippi Business Journal home introduced us to a lot of area Realtors and enabled us to tour a number and variety of office possibilities.

Setting our goal to remain in Hinds County and to seek a downtown site, we looked at space high above the city with panoramic views. We weaved in and out of countless building corridors. We looked at stand-alone possibilities. And, we considered single-floor and multiple floor options.

But time and time again, the pull back to 200 North Congress Street was strong.

It works for us. It makes sense for a statewide business publication to align itself with the Capital City, to be near the hub of legislative activities, to be within walking distance of dozens of governmental agencies, to interface regularly with the cluster of downtown-based decision-makers and to join forces with a variety of associations and organizations that also call the central business district and its surrounding area home.

Like many of you, we are also intrigued by the rebirth of downtown Jackson, the progress already visibly underway, the developing energy spurred by our new Jackson Convention Complex, remarkable, finished projects like The Pinnacle and restoration of the Old Capitol.

That progress moves swiftly on similar eye-catching work like the Roberts Walthall Hotel, the King Edward Hotel, a new federal building and the old Standard Life Building is exciting, and dreams of the development of a Farish Street entertainment district and the construction of additional hotels only sweeten the draw and add to the enthusiasm of what might eventually happen.

So now you can count us among the 29,000 folks who work downtown, who will frequent the 31 restaurants, walk the five mile-long trails, sit or lunch on the benches or listen to musical groups in the picturesque park, attend a myriad of meetings, visit the unique attractions and explore the streets of what has been, is and will continue to be the heritage or vision not just of Jackson, but the entire state.

Our hope, too, is the central location will help us better serve you.

We’re proud of our weekly Mississippi Business Journal and appreciate your support of a popular newspaper now in its 32nd year. Our regular focus topics and targeted lists reflect reader interests and have become staples of business communication statewide.

Our web site, www.msbusiness.com, draws a steady and growing stream of daily visitors and our free, daily e-Bulletin provides a dependable alert of late breaking news and notes.

We think our special events — Best Places to Work, Top 40 Under 40, 50 Leading Businesswomen in Mississippi and Fast Forty — are second to none, and though the construction industry has slowed some, our quarterly Construction Mississippi magazine continues to command a strong and dedicated audience.

Our comprehensive Book of Lists is invaluable as a resource tool and plans are already under way for our 27th Mississippi Business and Technology EXPO that has become a state tradition. Quarterly attention to “Healthcare Mississippi” and real estate developments remain timely while informative annual projects like Meetings, Conventions and Tourism, the Office Guide and NEXT! (for high school students) are examples of other helpful publications.

As we begin a new era — telephone numbers, e-mail addresses and fax contacts have not changed — we hope to become even more accessible, to provide a wider array of information you want and believe useful and to strengthen or establish a personal partnership on which you can rely.

Some boxes remain unpacked. All of our pictures haven’t been hung. And there exists still some clutter. But the coffee pot is always on, empty cups are available and the soft drinks are cold.

We’re at 200 North Congress Street, Suite 400. Come see us.

Contact MBJ editor/publisher Ed Darling at ed.darling@msbusiness.com.

About Ed Darling

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