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Developer wants to convert old jail into residential space

HATTIESBURG — A North Carolina-based real estate development group has declared its interest in renovating the former Forrest County jail complex into affordable housing.

Vann Joines, with The Landmark Group, tells The Hattiesburg American his organization is proposing a $9.75-million renovation of three buildings in downtown Hattiesburg, formerly used as a jail and county offices.

Joines says the three buildings would be turned into one- to three-bedroom apartments and townhomes. In total, the three buildings would house 60 apartment units.

The housing — dubbed Forrest Street Lofts —would be available to individuals or families making below 60 percent of the area median income.

Hattiesburg City Council President Kim Bradley said he is interested in the proposal and sees it as a sign of a renewal of downtown.

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