JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Murphey Parker is a Millsaps College graduate and works for a special events lighting company in downtown Jackson. On Wednesday afternoon, he and his roommate become the first tenants to move into the Standard Life Building on Roach Street, just a mile from his office.
He loves what's awaiting him.
"You have so many windows, so much natural light," he says as he looks around his 17th-floor apartment.
He'll also enjoy stainless steel appliances, recessed and pendant lighting, a washer and dryer, and decent square footage for a single working man. His apartment is one of just two in the building that have a private balcony.
"I'm from Atlanta," he says. "I come from the city. It's been a nice transition being downtown, seeing this area flourish, the couple years I've been here in Jackson."
About 45 one- and two-bedroom apartments have yet to be leased in the renovated high rise. It's a sister project to the Hilton Garden Inn at the King Edward, which also has apartment space. Tenants at Standard Life can use the King Edward's pool and other amenities.
The Standard Life Building dates back to the 1920's, and is full of historical architecture.
"We tried to retain as much as possible the original marble, terrazzo finishes in the lobby, the historic stairwell," says Ron Pilgrim, Vice President of Project Management for H.R.I. Properties, which manages both the King Edward apartments and the Standard Life apartments. "We tried to keep the building in the same mode it was originally built, which is art deco."
The Standard Life Building becomes the latest successful project in the rebirth of a downtown block that includes Roach, Pearl, and Mill Streets.
The area across Capitol Street from the King Edward won't open at the end of the year as hoped. Developer David Watkins says legal issues have gotten in the way, and he's hoping for new life here by the second quarter of 2011.
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