In a press release distributed Wednesday afternoon, Full Spectrum South announced that it had assumed a lease agreement with Hal and Mal's, which was previously with the state of Mississippi, and a 2.74-acre piece of land to start the first phase of the Old Capitol Green project.
Hal and Mal's will remain in its current location, but developers say they plan to make renovations to the building and potentially add more apartments to the second floor.
Co-owner of Hal and Mal's Hal White said he doesn't have confidence in Full Spectrum's plan.
"We do not believe we'll be a part of the plan. We do not have any confidence in their six-year plan and that what they're now proposing will be any different," White said.
The promise of the mixed-use development has been hanging for six years now.
"I wish more that there were building taking place than you do," said Malcolm Shepherd, Development Director for Full Spectrum.
We first reported news of the plans in September of 2006. But the developers say they're still waiting on a green light.
"We don't like giving out start dates because we're not in control of those start dates we have financing sources both local and national that we have to coordinate closing," explained Shepherd.
So what is the delay?
"The last schedule that we had was based on what we had confirmed with our funding sources. Well, one of the funding sources did not come through and so we could not close on that day," said Shepherd.
The parking garage will be the first step of the building phase because the property is in a flood zone. They plan to have retail space above it.
Still, there have been several delays over the years, most involving financing. The original sketches and plans span several blocks of downtown. But progress is still stalled.
The first phase of Old Capitol Green won't begin until Full Spectrum consolidates financing for the project. There are investors and money for the project but not enough to break ground.
The first step will be building a parking garage because the area is in a flood plain.
"We should have facilities operating within 18-24 months of the day that we start on the parking garage," said Shepherd.
Old Capitol Green is a new mixed-use, mixed-finance, and mixed-income urban development located on the eastern edge of the downtown Jackson Central Business District.
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