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Sleep Inn Breaking Ground Downtown

J. R. Jones, managing member of minority investment and development organization The LEAD Group, LLC, is partnering with Jackson attorney Robert Gibbs in opening a new 64-room hotel on Gallatin Street. Jones, Gibbs and Downtown Jackson Partners will be hosting a groundbreaking ceremony for the New Downtown Sleep Inn and Suites at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Gallatin Street, between Pearl and Pascagoula Streets.

Jones said in a press statement that the project will be "another component of the changing landscape of Downtown Jackson and will be a valuable addition to the hotel market in Downtown, especially with the recent opening of the Jackson
Convention Complex."

The hotel will occupy the property formerly known as Red Smith's Used Cars, which Jones and Gibbs bought from Smith months ago. Gibbs said he and Jones had been planning the opening of the hotel for more than a year, but were nervous about making a public announcement until after the land purchase was finalized and the hotel plans approved by Sleep Inn parent company Choice Hotels.

"Now that all that has been done we're ready to make the announcement," Gibbs told the Jackson Free Press.

Besides providing lodging for visitors looking to attend the convention center's packed itinerary, the hotel's location also puts it at the entrance of the scenic Metro Parkway, which connects downtown Jackson to Jackson State University.

Gibbs said he hoped the university would work closely with the hotel in the future.

"We plan to have conversation with Jackson State," he said. "We hope Jackson State will look at us as their recommended hotel for any guests coming to the university."

The hotel's location also comes with challenges, however. It also sits across from the defunct Iron Horse Grill and other unseemly neighborhood locations, and the neighborhood is one of the few city areas zoned to house homeless shelters. Local residents complain that the prevalence of homeless shelters in the area¬óand the subsequent pervasiveness of transients¬ógenerally work against new development.

Gibbs said he did not believe the nearby shelters would impact the hotel, however.

"We don't expect the homeless community to be a problem at all," Gibbs said. "We're all Jackson residents, we know Jackson problems and we know what Jackson can be proud of. Gateway (homeless shelter) is sufficiently down the street. We're just not concerned about it."

Gibbs and Jones had wanted to buy bordering property owned by The Salvation Army, but discovered the land was not for sale. The developers said they still hope to buy and develop that land in the future.

Previous Comments

ID
148741
Comment

I get more excited about downtown development than i do about sex!!!

Author
NewJackson
Date
2009-06-16T15:58:36-06:00
ID
148742
Comment

I wouldn't go that far myself, NewJack. :D

Author
Lady Havoc
Date
2009-06-16T16:02:20-06:00
ID
148743
Comment

Well thats how much i love my city.

Author
NewJackson
Date
2009-06-16T16:08:32-06:00
ID
148744
Comment

I love Jackson, too. Quite a lot. Even more than where I live now. And I am thrilled that more business is coming to Jackson. But still...

Author
Lady Havoc
Date
2009-06-16T16:35:10-06:00
ID
148745
Comment

Make sure to read the updated story by Adam Lynch, posted now.

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2009-06-16T16:41:33-06:00
ID
148746
Comment

LOL i feel you lady havoc.

Author
NewJackson
Date
2009-06-16T16:52:00-06:00
ID
148747
Comment

This is great and will help add more convention business in Jackson. I also like how Sleep Inn wants to work with Jackson State, too. Maybe that will spearhead more activity for the JSU area too.

Author
golden eagle
Date
2009-06-16T17:22:26-06:00
ID
148748
Comment

Maybe this will inspire someone to finally tear down the old Iron Horse and do something with that lot. I hope it does well.

Author
Lady Havoc
Date
2009-06-16T17:38:16-06:00
ID
148749
Comment

Do yall think that the homeless shelter and its tenants will affect business and the perception of a safe hotel.

Author
NewJackson
Date
2009-06-16T17:50:56-06:00
ID
148750
Comment

I don't think so. If it were, I don't think the LEAD Group would build there.

Author
golden eagle
Date
2009-06-16T20:13:15-06:00
ID
148752
Comment

This is a good thing. Let's work with it. This is not a "cheap" motel project, thankfully. It will be a good addition to the inventory of downtown Jackson projects. There are also great things planned across the street at the old site of the Iron Horse Grill. It's not one of my projects, but it's a great project and deserves our support. David Watkins CEO, Watkins Partners

Author
Pops
Date
2009-06-16T20:47:29-06:00
ID
148753
Comment

Well pops if you say it i beleive it, i just brought it up because i worked at the Marriot previously as a bellman and sometimes i spent more time chasing off homeless people begging than assisting Guest. I have seen the problems "undesirables" can cause to spooked guest. Hopefully the hotel will have proactive measures in place to counter any problems. Im not speaking against the project im just giving insight.

Author
NewJackson
Date
2009-06-16T21:30:25-06:00
ID
148756
Comment

Pops: When are they going to announce on that? Poor Iron Horse should be put out of it's misery.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2009-06-16T22:07:49-06:00
ID
148759
Comment

Frankly, any development that involves hotels or restaurants will be difficult to put together during 2009 because of the tight financial markets. That should change by year end and 2010 should bring in a much improved financial climate for development. At least I hope so. Nevertheless, it's my understanding that the Iron Horse project will break ground by the end of this year or early next year. Andrew Mattiace is involved in this project. Andrew is one of metro Jackson's premier real estate development and management companies, and I'm very glad to see him involved in another downtown Jackson development. His involvement will help make the project successful.

Author
Pops
Date
2009-06-17T06:19:12-06:00
ID
148764
Comment

Hey, Pops. Can we get an update on the Farish St project, too?

Author
eyerah
Date
2009-06-17T08:24:50-06:00
ID
148765
Comment

I would like to see a large addition be built onto the Iron Horse rather than demolish it and build all new. The building has so many stories inside its walls and even though a lot of it was damaged in the fires, it still retains character within. I wouldn't go as far as to use the existing structure to support new construction, but I think it could be used as a great backdrop to an addition. It needs a lot of work, but so did the King Edward, and we all see how great it's turning out. As for the homeless, there is still not a productive strategy, or at least not as effective as I would like to see, in place to deal with the problem. I think it would be very beneficial to everyone if a journalist(s) spent a few days living the life of the homeless, interviewing and shadowing, and putting names to those who walk the streets day in and day out. Has this ever been done locally?

Author
chip
Date
2009-06-17T08:32:12-06:00
ID
148766
Comment

Eyerah..Hopefully we will be beginning construction on Farish in 3 weeks. This has been a tedious process but we've finally gotten the necessary i's dotted and t's crossed so to speak. We'll be tackling BB King's and Subway Lounge first. And there will be a couple other surprises in store. But rest assured work will be full blast soon in anticipation of a soft opening around the same time the KE opens in late fall. Be excited :-)

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2009-06-17T08:42:42-06:00
ID
148769
Comment

Ground breaking is beginning as we blog for the new hotel. IT starts at 10:00. I have several good friends who are a part of this project and I hope that they will be successful. According to plans, their cost will be a cut below the King Edwards and the Roberts Wathall. It is exciting to see locals get involved in this action.

Author
justjess
Date
2009-06-17T09:00:24-06:00
ID
148788
Comment

thanks, kaze. i really like what's going on. it seems like there is finally a vision for downtown, instead of everyone just doing their own thing in a piecemeal sort of way. i just wish we could've gotten the baseball stadium downtown years ago, but u win some u lose some. say what u want about Frank, one thing i respect him for was getting the ball rolling on some of these long overdue projects downtown. was he perfect? no. but he at least tried to speed up the process a bit. one thing i do fear, though, is that with the development of the hotel and the area around it, the homeless shelters will get pushed out and forced to relocate. not saying it will happen, but i've seen it happen in enough other cities to not be naive about it...

Author
eyerah
Date
2009-06-17T13:42:23-06:00
ID
148790
Comment

i think the homeless shelters should move and eyerah please frank didn't get nothing going.

Author
NewJackson
Date
2009-06-17T14:58:43-06:00
ID
148803
Comment

Oh yes he did, NewJackson. He got a hell of a lot of things going that are now dumped into the laps of tax payers. I have been too upset about the City Council voting to pay John Reeves for melton's legal bills. That is not right. He selected his lawyer and he also made the dicision to break the law. Some seem to get upset when anyone says anything about the melton Adm. and the long list of wrongs that were done. If taxpayers were going to be responsible for his legal debts, then we should have been given a voice in lawyer selection and the right to recommend a public defendant if he was unable to pay. Who will pay Danks? I understand that he also has a hefty bill left from representing melton.

Author
justjess
Date
2009-06-18T10:21:21-06:00
ID
148805
Comment

Great progress ... but I would also have liked to see 'Sun and Sands Motel' refurbished - probably a more cost-effective project with greater historical appeal. So anyone interested in pursuing this idea, get in touch - nothing like a little bit of competition to make things interesting.

Author
Do No Evil
Date
2009-06-18T11:59:20-06:00
ID
148827
Comment

I hope Sun and Sand motel refurb is NOT in the works. I can't stand the place. it was a crappy, low class motel even at its heyday. So, why the heck do we want to refurbish "bad taste," and poor urban planning, and put something there that blocks any new development in downtown that would be productive and make sense. "Do No Evil," no disrespect intended, but i just can't buy your assessment. I don't think there is anything about the sun 'n sand that would be cost effective or provide any great historical appeal.

Author
jacksonredneck
Date
2009-06-18T21:52:51-06:00
ID
148831
Comment

While the Sun-n-Sand has slipped into an unquestionable state of decrepitude, it is still an interesting example of MiMo (Mid-Century or Miami Modern). Certain parts of it ought to be preserved, I will admit that it is probably not feasible to "restore" all of the property, but selective preservation merits consideration in this case. Alas, I think that it may simply be erased. Yesterday's trash is not always tomorrow's treasure, but we need to be careful about what we casually destroy.

Author
tombarnes
Date
2009-06-18T22:05:54-06:00
ID
148832
Comment

Oh, and the (adulterous) stories its walls could tell!

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-06-18T22:13:50-06:00
ID
148842
Comment

TAKE A LOOK AT THIS http://www.ccdarchitects.com/experience/corporate/details.php?id=53 http://www.ccdarchitects.com/experience/corporate/details.php?id=51

Author
NewJackson
Date
2009-06-19T17:30:34-06:00
ID
148844
Comment

NewJacks, I can't tell from the site if these are in the works, already built, proposed and abandoned plans or what. There aren't any completion dates on any of the projects. Anyone else know?

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2009-06-19T18:29:43-06:00
ID
148845
Comment

idk either i just stumbled on them, hopefully we can get some info from pops, B allen, or duckworth. These will be good to add to our skyline.

Author
NewJackson
Date
2009-06-19T18:48:40-06:00
ID
148847
Comment

The link above to the "Pearl Street Office Building" is for a project that didn't make it, at least for now. Great idea, great planning, great partners. It was just not to be at the time. When this was in the works, there was really only room for one new class A office building in downtown Jackson. The Pinnacle at Jackson Place was the winner of the contest. This is not to say the project won't come back. I'm certainly hoping it will. But, for now, it's not a current project, just a dream.

Author
Pops
Date
2009-06-19T20:53:34-06:00
ID
148848
Comment

To jacksonredneck, i respectfully suggest that you do some research about the history of 'sun n sands' and like suggested by other posters it doesn't necessary have to be restored to its exact past 'glory' - infact checkout what that architectural firm did with the old greyhound depot.

Author
Do No Evil
Date
2009-06-19T23:11:27-06:00
ID
148852
Comment

Thanks Pops

Author
NewJackson
Date
2009-06-20T15:43:08-06:00
ID
148855
Comment

I'm glad to hear about the groundbreaking, but I'm still anticipating the KEH opening. :)

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2009-06-20T21:03:39-06:00
ID
148857
Comment

i like the fact that these investors are going straight into west jackson sometimes you cant wait for things to get better you have to go do it yourself.

Author
NewJackson
Date
2009-06-20T21:35:35-06:00

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