By JACK WEATHERLY
A key piece of the puzzle for revitalizing downtown Jackson is ready to be put in place.
A grocery will be installed in the 366,000-square-foot Landmark Center on Capital St. at Lamar St., according to Dyke Nelson, chief operating officer of WN Management of Baton Rouge, which manages and directs the redevelopment of the building.
Hattiesburg-based Roberts Co., will add its eighth Corner Market in Mississippi, a 17,500-square-foot space that will offer a full-service store with a deli and indoor seating.
David Roberts, vice president of the Roberts Co., described the stores as “urban market” with more emphasis on the deli, which won’t be self-serve, but full-service.
He said the grocery would open when the conversion of the building into apartments and other retail are complete
The Landmark Center has bounced from one potential future to another in recent years.
AT&T moved out of the seven-story, curvilinear building in 2012 and the University of Mississippi Medical Center withdrew from a plan to use the building two years later. The state Department of Revenue chose a site in Clinton.
Then the idea of a mixed-use conversion gained traction.
WN Management announced in 2016 a plan to put 200 apartments into the building, a plan reiterated last year.
Downtown is gaining residents — with the King Edward Apartments, the Standard Life Flats, the Capitol Art Lofts, and, under construction are apartments in the Lamar Life Building, as well as in the former Edison Walthall hotel, and other plans are on the drawing board.
Nelson said the Landmark plan still calls for 200 apartments.
“This is first of what we hope to be a number of announcements in the project,” Nelson said.
He said conversion should be complete by the end of next year.
He said the company has already done a project like the Landmark, the 440 on Third in Baton Rouge.
Ben Allen, president of Downtown Jackson Partners, a business improvement district, said that the 10-year lease with the Roberts Co. is a good indicator that the developer is committed to finishing the project.
Allen said the Corner Market stores are “laid out like a Fresh Market. It’s got real pretty produce, real good beef.”
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