The Magnolia District, a proposed development for downtown Madison, is designed to bring dining, retail and professional office space to the area.
The development will be located on nine acres in downtown Madison near the intersection of Madison Avenue and Magnolia Street.
Developers Greg Johnston and Chuck Bell announced the project last summer, and the first phase was recently approved by the Madison board of aldermen.
Construction on the first phase, which will be building three of 10 on the development’s site plan, is scheduled to get underway in September. Johnston told the Sun that construction is projected to take approximately 10 months to complete.
The building is located along Montgomery Street and will have retail and office space.
The Magnolia District’s 10 buildings will be a combined 71,000 square feet of space for commercial opportunities, including office space, retail and dining.
The developers, Johnston and Bell, are working with the city to blend the new development with the Madison Square development that the city has planned for the adjacent property.
“I am so excited about the Magnolia District,” Mayor Mary Hawkins Butler told the Sun when the project was announced in May 2019. “I know it will be a beautiful addition to downtown Madison and will be a great complement to our Madison Square project.”
According to Johnston, an attorney, developer and contractor in Madison, the project has been in the works since 2004, as it has been his goal to restore historic buildings in the area and recreate historically accurate new buildings.
Since 2004, Johnston and his parents, Brent and Cynthia Johnston, have restored and built five buildings in the area for professional office space.
Johnston and Bell purchased the future site of the Magnolia District in 2018. Currently, the site is home to Rock’s Barber Shop and three old homes, which Johnston plans to move off the site and restore.
“We have an appreciation for history and southern architecture so this site is the perfect location to create a development that will be inspired by the architecture of Savannah, Georgia, and Charleston, South Carolina,” Bell said.
Old Town Construction of Madison, LLC, which is owned by Johnston, is the general contractor on the project.
Other developments Johnston has done include the Fountains of Madison, which is a 23-acre commercial subdivision on Highland Colony Parkway in Madison adjacent to Broadmoor Baptist Church. His construction company also built a facility for Key Dental Group in the Fountains of Madison and a medical clinic on Main Street in Madison for Baptist Health Systems called Main Street Family Medical Clinic.
He is also currently developing a seven-acre commercial subdivision at the corner of Luckney Road and Lakeland Drive across from Hartfield and a 30,000-square-foot professional office building on Highland Colony Parkway in Ridgeland called The Bell Building.