With a 20-year-lease offer of $48.5 million on the table, downtown Jackson’s Landmark Center held a clear lead in the competition to become the new headquarters of the Mississippi Department of Revenue.
Rivals South Pointe Business Park in Clinton and Diversified Technologies complex in Ridgeland presented offers of $51.4 million and $53.4 million, respectively.
But in the next phase of the competition, the Landmark and South Pointe representatives went in opposite directions on their offers, according to an executive summary of the just-concluded Request for Proposals process.
After an inspection team from Allred Architectural Group of Ocean Springs compiled its “final fit” reports based on close looks at what each property would need in order to accommodate the Revenue Department, South Pointe’s Duckworth Realty won the prize with a an offer of $41,469,192 million. Annual cost of the 20-year lease would be $2.78 million.
The South Pointe offer included 187,511 square feet of office space, 600 parking spaces, around $8 million in tenant improvements, security and janitorial services.
The Landmark Center, represented by Hertz Investment Group, returned with a final and best offer of $51,684,393 on a 20-year lease that included 600 parking spaces and security. Hertz Group is declining comment but signs are that the needs for repairing and reequipping the quarter-century old Landmark forced an increase in the rent asking price.
Ultimately, the Duckworth offer was too attractive to pass up, said Kevin Upchurch, executive director of the Department of Finance & Administration, the state’s property management entity.
Put side-by-side, Upchurch said, the South Pointe offer “was the better value by far.”