Home » MBJ FEATURE » Heritage Building gets new life with sale and renovation
Heritage Building in Downtown Jackson.

Heritage Building gets new life with sale and renovation

By JACK WEATHERLY

The Heritage Building in downtown Jackson sold on the auction block a year ago.

As the name suggests, there is history to the six-story structure at 401 E. Capitol St.

Built in 1905, it was first the home of Kennington’s Department Store, then later McRae’s Department Store. It is on the National Register of Historic Places.

In recent years, it has been home primarily to law firms.

The biggest tenant, Carter Wise, occupies two floors and part of another.

Another law firm, Burr and Forman, decided to depart the building when the future of Heritage was uncertain.

Burr and Forman relocated in downtown in the glittery Pinnacle Building, also on Capitol Street.

The fact that it stayed in downtown is significant, given the fact that the central business district was shaken with the departure of the large Butler Snow law firm and Horne CPA in the past decade.

“We are a big backer of downtown Jackson,” said Cheri Gatlin, managing partner for the Jackson offices of Burr and Forman, which has offices in 10 other cities across the Southeast.

Balch and Bingham left the Heritage Building in 2011 for One Jackson Place next to Pinnacle.

Scott Andress, Balch and Bingham partner, said the fact that downtown is where the seat of of state and local government is as well as state and federal courts was key in the firm’s decision.

While it looked at moving out of Jackson, “in the end we decided that being downtown was where we can best represent our clients,” Andress said.

Charles E. Ross, president of Wise Carter, said the firm has been in the Heritage building since the early 1980s.

“I have deep affections for the Heritage Building,” said Ross, who joined the firm in 1988.

Conversations with one of two Metairie, La., investors helped to convince the firm that it was in good hands, Ross said.

Sam Cox, who manages the 95,000-square-foot property for Speed Commercial Realty, which is partner in the Heritage, said the building is undergoing a major overhaul – including new elevators, heating and cooling systems, a new roof and renovation of restrooms.

Between the former quarters for the two departed law firms, about 25,000 square feet will be available for occupancy in a few months, Cox said.

Roughly 5,000 square feet of other space is available now, Cox said.

Additionally, Speed will convert adjoining buildings on Capitol into mixed use purposes. A private, New Orleans-style courtyard for Heritage tenants will be created, Cox said.

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About Jack Weatherly

One comment

  1. Got to stay close to the deep dunk into gov’t money, while maintaining glitzy HQ to wow the clients. (Title of 1920’s book about Wall Street: “But Where Are the Customers’ Yachts?”)

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