JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - The huge, but dying Metro Center Mall in Jackson could be transformed in a proposed $213 million dollar development.
David Watkins, the man who rebuilt The King Edward Hotel, believes he can to the same thing to Metro that he did to the hotel.
He sees condominiums, upscale shopping, a theatre, and even a water park in what was once a 1.3 million square foot building on the busiest interstate highway in the state, I-20.
Watkins says it will take him three to five years to do it. The Metro Center is now barely surviving on Sears and The Burlington Coat Factory.
WLBT was kicked off the property Friday, when we were there to take pictures.
"It's a total mixed use redevelopment of the project. All 120 acres of it. It won't compete with Renaissance and Dogwood, or even Northpark, for regular retail shopping, so we are changing the whole scope. It will be mixed use, it's going to have it's own little community and a mix of shopping, will be different," said Watkins.
"It's a cycle. I mean Metro Center could not compete with Northpark, I thinks Dogwood Festival and Renaissance finished it off. But we are coming back, it will come back," Watkins added.
There was a time in the early life of this mall, in the seventies and eighties, when this parking lot would be full on a Friday afternoon. You can see what has happened. We tried to reach the manager but were told she was not available today and wouldn't be back until Monday.
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