King Edward Hotel restoration scheduled for completion Fall 2009 - - Jackson, MS

Jackson, MS 10/31/08

King Edward Hotel restoration scheduled for completion Fall 2009

By Bert Case - bio | email

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - The restoration of the old King Edward Hotel in downtown Jackson is slightly behind schedule, but it is expected to reopen as a hotel in September of next year.

The hotel has been completely gutted and the reconstruction is well underway. It was originally a 400 room hotel which opened in 1922. It was once a center of activity in downtown Jackson where the legislators lived during sessions.

It fell into disrepair and closed in 1967, sitting there as a monument to failure until David Watkins, a local attorney and developer teamed with Deuce McAllister, New Orleans Saints running back and they were able to put the deal together to completely restore the facility.

"David I am willing to eat crow, I was one who didn't believe this could happen. Congratulations, how far along are you?", I said jokingly.

"Thank you Bert and I appreciate you eating crow. It doesn't happen often, we are half way through. We are about 50% done. This is an $89 million project. We expect to open this beautiful place for business, next fall, probably September," explained Watkins.

"What will it be known as when it reopens?", I asked.

"This is going to be the Hilton Gardens at the King Edward," added Watkins.

It is just across the street from Union Station, still served by the Amtrak Train, the city of New Orleans.

So the King Edward Hotel is now more than 50% restored. They are about two weeks behind right now, but that doesn't mean much over a two year restoration and it can easily be made up.

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