Cedar Grove sold

Published 8:45 pm Friday, January 26, 2018

Cedar Grove Mansion officially has a new owner.

The 14-bedroom house along with cottages, carriage house, wedding chapel and 5 acres of land sold Jan. 3 after being on the market six years.

The mansion was purchased by 2200 Oak Street LLC, a subsidy of Pride Hospitality based in Germantown, Tennessee. Pride Hospitality owns and/or operates 17 hotels throughout the country.

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“It’s just got a great history to it,” Pride Hospitality President Mark Zipperer said of Cedar Grove. “I think the city is going through somewhat of a renewal. I am really impressed with what is going on downtown. My company opened the Candlewood Suites for the owners that built it and got to know Vicksburg fairly well. We appreciate the asset for its historic content and potential.”

Cedar Grove was previously owned by GPS Investments based in Natchez. Garry Small, the owner of GPS, said they donated the property to Act Community Development Corporation, a non-profit based in Brooklyn, and a broker for the organization made contact with Zipperer.

“For charitable reasons for one,” Small said of why they donated the property. “It is a very good not-for-profit organization based in New York. And obviously, when you donate something that large there are obvious tax benefits.”

Zipperer would not disclose the purchase price, but said they plan to invest substantial money into the mansion.

“It really doesn’t matter what we pay, it is what we are putting into the thing,” Zipperer said. “It is hundreds of thousands of dollars to renovate and rejuvenate this property.”

He said their plan is to focus considerable attention on the grounds of the mansion and also rejuvenate the building while maintaining its historical significance. 

“We have a historic asset here,” he said. “We really want to preserve this for the community. They could have sold it to someone that’d come in and gut the place and just operate it as a bed and breakfast and lose the history of the inside of the building. We are really trying to focus on maintaining that.”

Zipperer said Nicole Small, the daughter of the previous owner, will stay on to manage the property.

“She has a great history with the community,” Zipperer said. “She has a great history with the hotel. We are excited about that because she is part of the story of that hotel.”

Since purchasing the hotel, Zipperer said they have already made some repairs and are working on creating a capital plan of all improvements that need to be made.

“What we are focusing on now is improving and taking care of all the structural improvements that need to be made,” he said. “Fixing roofs that are leaking, trying to beautify the gardens and really focus on bringing back the mansion and making sure when we rent a room that the room is in perfect condition … There’s a ton of trees on the property and some of them are dead and some of them need trimming.”

He added that they are evaluating the services offered by the mansion, but they want it to remain a fixture in the community.

“The hotel has been known for hosting great wedding receptions and weddings on the grounds,” Zipperer said. “We want to continue to evaluate that as an option because with 5 acres and the historic nature of the grounds, it is a beautiful area to have a wedding. We are going to continue to look at that. We want to host more of the community and really focus on sharing this asset, sharing the restaurant, sharing the historic nature of the mansion and everything with the community.”

Cedar Grove was completed in 1852 and has served as a bed and breakfast since 1982.