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Construction to start by year’s end on Eastover development

Developers of The District at Eastover in Northeast Jackson finally own the site for the mixed-use project.

Ted Duckworth and Breck Hines, co-owners of the The District Land Development Co., bought the 21-acre Old Blind School site from the state for $3.3 million. The deal closed Feb. 24.

Hines said in an interview last week that construction should start on the project’s first phase by year’s end. Before then, Entergy Mississippi has to relocate a set of transmission lines, which should take between eight and nine months.

The first phase will include the hotel, retail space and restaurant space on the buildings’ bottom floors. The top floors will house offices or residential units, depending on what kind of retailers sit below them, Hines said. Completion of the first phase is currently scheduled for spring 2014.

Gov. Phil Bryant said in a press release that the development is expected to create 600 jobs, bringing in $1.9 million in annual tax revenue to the City of Jackson and $4.9 million to the state.

“This purchase puts a vacant site to use and has promise for the Jackson metro area,” Bryant said.

Duckworth and Hines won the bid to develop the site after they responded to a request for proposals the Department of Finance and Administration issued in 2010.

When completed, the project will have 500,000 square feet of retail, office and residential space. It will be bordered by the Eastover and Fondren neighborhoods.

“We began working on this project in 2006 with the desire to create a special place that further enhances the quality of life for the people of Jackson and supports the growth occurring throughout the metro area,” Duckworth said in a statement. “We are excited to now take the next step in that process.”

The $3.3 million sell price was derived from the average of two appraisals DFA commissioned. A little over $1 million of that money will be used to build a new storage and maintenance facility for the Mississippi School for the Blind and a new residence for the school’s superintendent. The rest of the money will sit in the School for the Blind Trust Fund.

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