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Tag Archives: Ben Allen

$2 million makeover for Jackson’s Smith Park in conceptual stage

A vision for the first revamp of downtown Jackson’s Smith Park in more than 40 years is taking shape. A project committee of downtown business leaders hope to raise private money to secure a contribution from state government for a $2 million redo that involves opening up the 2.4-acre park’s visibility and access, building a new bandstand and eliminating water ...

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The wait continues for Edison Walthall hotel buyer

Hopes for injecting more life into downtown Jackson’s Capitol Street through a renovation and possible conversion of the vacant Edison-Walthall sustained a setback when the hotel did not get an acceptable bid at auction. For now, the circa 1927 lodging landmark will remain with the Landmark Center office building a block away as once-major properties on downtown’s main thoroughfare awaiting ...

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A touchup for Thalia Mara

It’s said Jackson’s Thalia Mara Hall hasn’t got a bad seat in the house. But seats that are in bad shape? Those are about as plentiful as the number of days that make up the Broadway run of the “Phantom of the Opera.” Since its opening in 1968 as the Jackson Municipal Auditorium, the City-owned hall has been home to ...

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Survey: Metro Jackson office markets showing some strength

Jackson’s Central Business District office market is starting 2012 much as it did 2011 with slightly more than a quarter of available space empty. That’s the good news. The CBD wouldn’t be keeping its current occupancy levels had expected lease renewals not come through, commercial real estate professionals say. Parkway Properties’ 120-building fourth-quarter office market survey shows the downtown market ...

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Wanted: Replacement for Parkway’s downtown leadership

The coming departure of Parkway Properties from Jackson leaves a leadership void for downtown causes, says Ben Allen, president of the Downtown Jackson Partners, a public-private partnership created to promote and facilitate downtown’s revitalization. Parkway’s executive corps brought a “care factor” that will be hard to replace, Allen said. “As far a losing the emotional capital, I can’t sugar coat ...

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Travel Channel highlighting Jackson cuisine in 'Man vs. Food’

“Travel Channel’s “Man Vs. Food” host Adam Richmand recently made a swing through Jackson to shoot footage for the show at Burgers and Blues, Chimneyville, 2 Sisters and the Coffee Roastery. The program will televise nationwide in early summer, says Ben |Allen, president of Downtown Jackson Partners, a downtown revitalization and promotions agency. Also, Travel Channel’s Andrew Zimmern, host of ...

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Watkins: Farish still on track

David Watkins wants to be clear: Farish Street is on schedule for the major tenants of its first block to open late this year. The project has not stalled for lack of money, as was reported in the Clarion-Ledger last week. Watkins, who is developing the historic district into a Beale Street-like mix of clubs and restaurants, said the only ...

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For Jackson’s arena hopes, a Golden standard

City of Jackson officials have received three proposals from firms interested in performing planning and design studies for a possible downtown arena, and Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr.’s spokesperson says interviews are being set up with the hopes of a selection being made soon. “We hope to have that happen in short order,” Christopher Mims wrote last week in an email ...

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Museum investment seen as boost for downtown

History enthusiasts are relieved and pleased by a state Legislature appropriation last week of $38 million to build a new Museum of Mississippi History and a civil rights museum on state land just north of the William F. Winter Archives and History Building, 200 North Street. But supporters of downtown development are trading high-fives, as well. They see visitors and ...

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Mayor takes over steering effort for downtown arena

A steering committee created to plan and promote an arena for downtown Jackson has disbanded to make way for Mayor Harvey Johnson to lead the charge. Where the effort goes from here is now up to the mayor and City Hall, said Ben Allen, director of Downtown Jackson Partners, a public-private entity that works to promote downtown and its redevelopment. ...

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