A proposal to construct a six-story apartment building on the Duling School property in Fondren is not expected to be on the agenda when the Mississippi Department of Archives and History Board of Trustees meets on Jan. 21.
“MDAH has not received any additional information from the developers or lead federal agency associated with the project that would allow us to make a recommendation to the Board of Trustees on January 21,” said Barry White, director of the Historic Preservation Division of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, in an email.
The nine-member board, which is led by Spence Flatgard of Ridgeland, meets quarterly.
The Duling School property is designated as a Mississippi Landmark under the provisions of the Antiquities Law of Mississippi.
Mississippi Landmark designation recognizes the historical significance of the property and requires that proposed significant alterations that may affect the property’s historic character are reviewed by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History trustees.
Public notice about the proposal was posted on the Mississippi Department of Archives and History website on July 26, 2021, and comments and requests for more information were accepted until Aug. 25, 2021.
The department received 30 comments from the public. Eighteen of the comments expressed opposition to the project, five were in favor and the remainder wanted additional information, according White.
Developers Andrew Mattiace and Mike Peters plan to convert the top floors in Fondren Place, which is located at North State Street and Duling Avenue, from office space into luxury apartments, and build a new structure, Fondren Place Phase 2.
The Fondren Place apartments are expected to be ready for occupancy in late 2022.
Fondren Place Phase 2, an infill project behind the Duling School complex, will create a total of 130 one- and two-bedroom units in four floors over two floors of parking.
The Mississippi Department of Archives and History reviewed several designs for Fondren Place Phase 2 and selected one that relates to Duling School.
Construction on Fondren Place Phase 2 is expected to take about two years after approvals from the city of Jackson are received.
The conversion of Fondren Place into apartments will remove 100 employee parking places and provide spaces for customers to use, according to the Fondren Renaissance Foundation.
The first floor of parking for Fondren Place Phase 2 will support existing commercial uses along Duling Avenue, according to the foundation. The two floors of parking for Fondren Place Phase 2 will mean a net increase in parking accommodations over what exists, according to the foundation.
During construction of Fondren Place Phase 2, neighboring Fondren Church will provide parking, and the first two floors of parking for Fondren Place Phase 2 will be open to the public while the residential floors are built.
The project is expected to generate about $400,000 in additional property taxes with half of that directed to the Jackson public schools, according to the foundation. The Fondren Business Improvement District, which provides security, landscaping and cleaning services for the business district, will also benefit from the additional taxes, according to the foundation.