JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - A downtown building that has been boarded-up for a decade is just about ready for its grand reopening.
The Walthall opened as a hotel in 1929 and served travelers under various names until it shut down ten years ago because of water damage. New owners revealed plans to turn it into apartments, but not until Mississippi native Sunny Sethi came on board in October did that plan finally come together.
Sethi and a team of designers, architects and contractors are now nearly finished with the transformation into 154 studio and one-bedroom apartments. Each includes a full set of kitchen appliances and a washer and dryer, and no two units are exactly alike.
A number of resort-style concierge services will offered as well.
“Whether it’s a massage room where you can come and have a massage, to a beauty salon on-site, to a mail room where you don’t have to leave the building to get your mail,” Sethi says, the Walthall Lofts will provide it.
It will also have Amazon lockers. “So if you get a large package you don’t have to worry about it disappearing on your doorstep," he says.
More than 40 of the apartments overlook the striking pool area, which is thoroughly modern but still contains many original features, including the motel-style design of the floor-to-ceiling windows. The pool is actually up on the fifth floor, and only residents will have access to it.
Sethi says the ground floor will be open to the public, but a special access fob will be required to use the elevators or to reach any of the upper floors.
You’ll notice a change on the ground itself in the lobby area. The original terrazzo floors, buried for decades under carpet, have been restored. Future plans on the ground floor include a new restaurant and bar.
The parking garage has new high-speed, roll-up doors, and nearly 70 new cameras boost security. Parking will be available to residents for an extra charge.
Pre-leasing has already begun, with rent ranging from $850 to $1650.
Sethi is also working on the nearby James O. Eastland building, formerly a federal courthouse and post office before that. It will soon have 103 apartments, a fitness center in the old courtroom, and more dining options. All the amenities will be shared between the Eastland building and the Walthall.
“We will connect the two buildings with a sky bridge that’s actually going to go up in two weeks,” Sethi says.
“We want to be that hub of downtown city living in the heart of the South.”