Only two bids submitted to develop property across from convention complex

By ANTHONY WARREN,

Two developers are hoping second time’s the charm when it comes to developing the vacant property next to the Jackson Convention Complex.

Jackson city officials are hoping to develop the roughly 7.75-acre site across from the convention center, in part, to drive economic growth downtown.

The city recently opened proposals for the work, with the two new bids coming from the same groups that had previously been rejected.

The city is now evaluating those proposals, with plans to take the top-rated proposal to the Jackson City Council on June 11. From there, the administration hopes to get the council’s permission to enter into talks with the top-rated firm in earnest.

“If the council authorizes us to begin negotiations with the recommended group, we expect to complete negotiations by the end of June,” said Planning and Development Director Mukesh Kumar.

Proposals were submitted by Weinstein Nelson Developers, of Baton Rouge, and by Advanced Technology Building Solutions LLC and Summit Smith Developers, of Jackson and Milwaukee respectively, who submitted a proposal jointly.

The city is looking for a “master developer” to develop the site, based on recommendations from a design session held in 2018.

Last year, the city brought on Hunden Strategic Solutions to conduct a market study of downtown Jackson, to determine the area’s needs. After that, Hunden, along with Dale Partners Architects, drew up plans for the acreage based on those needs.

The first request for proposals (RFP) was issued last fall, but both proposals were rejected.

The second RFP was issued earlier this year.

The applicant chosen would oversee a project that would include 50,000 square feet of office space, 90,000 square feet of retail commercial space, 150,000 square feet of entertainment and event space, a 160,000-square-foot hotel, a 500,000-square-foot parking garage and 500,000 square feet of residential space.

The developer would also put together a master plan based on those specifics. The document must include a construction plan, financing plan and long-term management plan for the site.

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