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Consider This: Farish Street

Published: Jun. 24, 2021 at 6:14 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Redeveloping Farish Street is once again on the radar as the Jackson City Council approved funding to develop a masterplan for the historic area.

This is not the first time we have been down this road.

In a WLBT-Mississippi Today joint investigation in 2019, we discovered that over nearly four decades, city, state and federal agencies plus developers spent or committed around $51 million to revitalize properties on the street, more than $10 million of that came from Mississippi taxpayers.

There is very little to show that resulted from that significant investment. There was also a legal battle that basically brought everything to a standstill.

That legal battle is now over, so the city can move forward without that dark cloud preventing movement on the project.

If done correctly, Farish Street could be an important asset in attracting people to downtown Jackson. The Jackson Redevelopment Authority, which has a checkered past working on the Farish Street initiative, is still involved.

Latoya Cutts, the new JRA executive director who was hired last year, said the organization should have an idea as to whether they can move forward with the project in the next 2 or 3 months.

Hopefully with new JRA leadership, no more legal challenges, and a fresh strategic analysis, the project will actually move forward.

It has so much potential, but as we have seen over the past decades, when it comes to Farish Street, potential has not led to positive results. Maybe this time, whatever the number is, it will finally be the charm.

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