Jackson residents are driven by a spirit of community. They enjoy engaging with one another in activities such as running a 5K, walking, cycling or dining with friends. There is a sense of camaraderie and togetherness in this tightly knit community that is interwoven with diversity one just won't experience in any other town.
Residents also are make-it-big kind of people who work to make a difference not just for multinational corporations, but for multi-child families, or multi-denomination churches or multi-crop farms.
Most share an appreciation for certain things, like a warm handshake from a neighbor met in a grocery store aisle, or the smell of a freshly cut field. Most of them build their lives around family. And all of them know the value of a town where you’re never far from green, open space. So there’s a reason that most people love living in Jackson: All of those things are found here — and much, much more.
“Jackson has a lot to offer to the community,” says Brent Ward, CEO of the Central West Tennessee Association of REALTORS, which serves as a voice for area real estate personnel. He says Jackson draws people from all over the region, and if the town doesn’t have what you’re looking for, it’s never far away.
“But the best reason to move here is family and future," Ward says. "Jackson is the perfect fit between large metropolitan areas and the small towns. We’re the place you come for shopping and dining out on the weekends, and if you want more than what you can get here, it’s just a short drive to Memphis or Nashville.”
It’s that small-town quality of life, combined with a surprising array of entertainment, dining and cultural options that have people eyeing Jackson as a potential relocation option and keeping real estate prices stable. Ward says he expects that to continue.
“Provided that the economy and our government continue to move forward, so will the housing market. It’s been really good over the last two years, as it has slowly inched up to the numbers in 2006,” Ward says.
Jackson leadership isn’t sitting around waiting for people to come, either. They’re making big investments in the town's future, ensuring that we’ll see growth for years to come. One of those investments is the Healthy Community initiative. More than just an effort to keep Jacksonians healthy, the revitalization plan is based around the idea that you can design a community around certain principles that will increase the quality of life for all its residents.
“Walkability and connectivity seem to be the trendy phrases of the day when we talk about new urbanism in community planning and design,” says Hal Crocker, Healthy Community president. “These are first-step ideas. The next step is to create places within walking distance that add quality of life assets for the residents and that build a sense of community.”
Along with Lambuth Area and Center City developments, one of the neighborhoods that Crocker and his partner, Henry Turley, are working on is Jackson Walk.
“In addition to opportunities for shopping and dining, [Jackson Walk] includes an outdoor amphitheater for community concerts, a leash-free dog park, a community fitness trail and park, and the Farmers Market; all within a 10-minute walk,” Crocker says.
Ward also sees the potential in Jackson Walk.
“The [area development] has been a major event over the last few years and just continues to grow. New homes, rehabilitated older homes, apartments, shopping, business, restaurants, clinics, etc.— all within walking distance. It’s very similar to a planned unit development, just without the schools,” Ward says.
Not all the development is downtown, either. Ward says the fastest-growing area of Jackson is northwest Madison County.
“You have higher-priced homes, and the majority of your new construction takes place here, plus it [has a wide range of] private schools," he says.