UMMC’s Landmark purchase gets IHL nod

A sizable chunk of downtown Jackson’s vacant office space will soon move to the occupied side of the ledger with the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s planned purchase of the Landmark Center.

A large user for the long-vacant Landmark Center on Capitol Street would inject some much-needed vitality into downtown Jackson, Central Business District leaders say.

The University of Mississippi Medical Center has been authorized to buy the Landmark Center at 175 E. Capitol St.

The two-year-wait for an occupant for the 366,500 square-foot building at the corner of Capitol and Lamar streets ended Thursday with UMMC getting a green light from the Board of Trustees of the State Institutions of Higher Learning to buy the building.

The Landmark Center, 175 E. Capitol St., has been empty since principal tenant AT&T departed two years ago. Downtown boosters had hoped the state would follow through on a previous plan to relocate the Mississippi Department of Revenue to the building. Those hopes died with the state’s decision to move the DOR into Clinton’s South Pointe Business Park, the former headquarters of WorldCom.

Boosters lamented the increase the empty Landmark Center made to the Central Business District’s overall office vacancy rate, bringing the total into the mid to high 30 percent range.

UMMC has been authorized to buy the seven-floor Landmark from Capitol Street Associates, a New York investment group, for $6.25 million. Each of the 15 members of the group must agree to the deal, the IHL says.

The $6.25 million is approximately Capitol Street Associates sought three years ago when the building was the recommended choice for the DOR home.

The IHL board also approved an UMMC request to lease up to 400 enclosed parking spaces from neighboring One Jackson Place. That lease goes into effect in December.

UMMC plans to fill the Landmark one floor at a time, with the medical center’s Tele Health Services Group going in first and followed by various other administrative support departments.