JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - A 30,000-square-foot grocery store and 90-room hotel are on tap for the Livingston Road area, which will soon be home to the Villages at Livingston.
The $40 million to $50 million mixed-use development will feature 210 single-family homes, a new hotel and a farm-to-table grocery store.
The Jackson City Council recently approved the first step in issuing tax-increment financing bonds to help fund the project’s public infrastructure elements.
The city also is reviewing the project’s site plan, according to Stephen Leara, general counsel for VLP, LLC, the developers.
“The Livingston Road area has been blighted for years. To put a grocery store and hotel in that area, along with 210 garden homes is a much-needed boost for that part of town,” he said.
He expects a ground-breaking to be held in the 30 days but said that will be determined on how quickly site plans are signed off on.
“You’ll see a lot of dust flying in the air once you see the approvals,” he said.
Homes will range from 1,600 to 2,000 square feet and will be built to target medical professionals and others who work at the nearby Jackson Medical Mall.
“With the growth of the medical facilities and the medical complex along Woodrow Wilson, a lot of this development will be targeted to hospital employees,” he said.
“We hope, along with … the Medical Mall Foundation, that this spurs economic development in the corridor, which is needed.”
The hotel will feature 90 rooms, depending on how many stories will be allowed, and the grocery store will be up to 30,000 square feet, depending on how it will fit on the site, Leara said.
“Right now, we have a commitment from a hotel out of Wisconsin – Cobblestone Hotels,” he said. “We also have a letter of intent from a grocer who is opening up a chain of grocery stores, the farm-to-table type, in underserved communities.
“That is being spearheaded by former NFL All-Pro Karlos Dansby. He’s looking to go into food deserts, places where Publix and Winn-Dixie have shied away from in the past, and to bring some much-needed food and grocery services.”
The development will sit on approximately 51 acres northwest of the medical mall at the old Hood Furniture site. Ten of those acres will be reserved for green space, such as public parks, walking trails and the like.
The first phase of the project will focus on housing construction, with the commercial elements coming later.
“That’s the way all types of development evolve,” Leara said. “Retailers want to see rooftops.”
On Tuesday, the city council approved its intent to issue up to $3.3 million in TIF bonds for the project.
TIF bonds are issued by cities to help cover the costs for installing public infrastructure, such as new water and sewer lines, roads and sidewalks.
Under terms of the intent documents, Jackson would issue up to $3.3 million in bonds and repay the debt with the new sales and property tax revenues generated once the project is completed.
“The intent does not mean we will issue any bonds,” Planning Director Jordan Hillman said. “The intent starts the process of evaluating the TIF plan and entering into an agreement to use this mechanism to issue bonds when the revenues are present.”
Jackson is considering allocating up to 100 percent of new property taxes generated from the Villages and 50 percent of sales taxes.
Developers are also asking Hinds County to chip in on the TIF as well.