In the 1950s, downtown Jackson was the hub of commerce and activity for residents across the area. But as malls and large retail outlet centers began popping up in suburban areas, downtown began to lose some of its heyday luster. But those memories of a bustling city center stayed with longtime Jackson residents, many of whom have become integral players in the effort to revitalize Jackson's downtown and restore it to its original glory.
Recycling at its best
One example of the city's efforts to revitalize downtown is the transformation of historic buildings into usable office and living space. The former Holland’s department store building, for example, was renovated to include 10 upscale Victorian apartments on the second floor with period details including high tin ceilings and claw-foot tubs. The first floor is reserved for office space. The renovation of Jackson Junior High School on East Deaderick Street, now called the Renaissance Center, features 14 luxury loft apartments and five office spaces.
Less than 100 yards away from the Renaissance Center, is the old Stephenson Concrete Company building, a structure that served as a warehouse for several years following the concrete company’s departure. It is now converted into five loft apartments that feature dramatic windows and second-story views overlooking the green space between East Orleans and Deaderick streets.
Downtown appeals to a growing number of people who just enjoy living downtown for the convenience and the charm. People like to be close to libraries. museums and arts institutions, especially young professionals and people relocating from urban areas who are accustomed to easy downtown access. And then there are those who simply recognize a good investment when they see one. When these homes and businesses were built in 1910 or 1930, they were built to be there for a long time. If you take the time to recapture the craftsmanship, the spirit and the history, these places really shine – just like the town where they’re located.
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