JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - A North Jackson office that has sat vacant for several years could soon have new life as a small apartment building.
Developer Jeff Speed is seeking a conditional use permit to transform a building at 1430 Lelia Dr. into the high-end units.
The Jackson City Council is expected to take up the request at its zoning meeting on Monday, January 25.
The city’s planning board approved the measure on a 12-0 vote.
The permit is needed because the property is currently zoned C-2, for limited commercial use.
Speed, president of Speed Commerical Real Estate in Ridgeland, purchased the building in the last month or so, in hopes of giving it new life.
“It’s a good building and in a great location, and I feel the highest and best use for it is to convert it into very nice, very secure loft-style units,” he said. “My Uncle Leland (Speed) told me the future of a lot of real estate development in our area is repurposing.”
Speed’s uncle is a well-known North Jackson resident, developer and community leader.
The facility, which is located almost directly across from New Summit School, features approximately 17,000 square feet of office space built over covered parking.
Plans are to convert that office space into 13 high-end apartments, each between 1,100 and 1,200 square feet in size and each with its own balcony and storage space.
“We’re going to replace the roof, add skylights so each unit can have natural lighting, and modify the wrap-around porch so each unit will have a private outdoor area,” he said.
From there, Speed said the parking area will be fully fenced and a dog run will be added to provide a secure area for pets to get exercise.
“Everybody these days is concerned about security,” he said. “We’re going to provide a place where people feel comfortable.”
Speed said the building is located in a great area and within walking distance of Mayes Lake and LeFleur’s Bluff State Park.
“You have a large medical presence, with UMMC and St. Dominic nearby and people are always traveling up and down Lakeland Drive,” he said. “As long as we deliver the quality of product that we plan on delivering, it will be a successful development.”
Other amenities will include a small indoor workout area, a common area/workspace that will support Zoom and other electronic capabilities, and a small room for washing pets.
“It will be fully waterproof,” Speed said, referring to the pet-washing area. “Residents will be able to wash their animal in a closed environment and then go to their unit.”
Construction could begin “almost immediately” if Speed’s request is approved. “We’ve already selected the contractor. We’ve gotten the landscape architecture plans. Everything’s already bid out,” he said. “We’ve gotten full approval from the planning board.”
The council’s zoning meeting is slated for 2:30 p.m., Monday, January 25 at City Hall. The meeting will be broadcast on the city’s website and Facebook page.