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New apartments planned for building in Vicksburg’s historic district

A vacant 128-year-old building with a checkered past will soon be getting new life as an eight-unit apartment complex.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen on Monday gave conditional approval for a property tax abatement that will exempt the improvements to the building, which is in the Vicksburg Historic District, from property tax for seven years.

Aaron Jarabica, president of Triple M LLC, the property’s owner, said he plans to start work converting the building at 2106-08 Washington St. into apartments beginning Aug. 1.

“The building is actually three stories; there is one below the grade and there’s the main floor and one above, there’s going to be four apartments on each floor,” Jarabica said. He said the lower level will probably have a recreation room and washateria.

The building was built in 1892 by Vincent Levecchia, a wholesale and retail liquor dealer, for his liquor business and a grocery store. In 1896, he expanded the building and added a second story. He later moved his store to another building on Crawford Street and operated a saloon at the Washington Street building.

Jarabica said he heard a casino was once operated in the building’s basement.

In 1911, the building housed Vincent Cassino’s grocery, and Levecchia and Nick and John Cassino also lived there. John Cassino was later shot and killed in the store by a man who apparently hid in the store to steal merchandise at night.

The building later housed the Vicksburg Candy Co., Levy-Stribling Motor Co., and other businesses.

In January 2011, it housed A-1 Studios, which doubled at night as a bar and was one of several establishments shut down by Vicksburg Police in a series of raids on bars for privilege license and other violations.

In July 2011, the building was home to a dog grooming business at 2108 Washington St. and the 7/11 Teen Dance Club at 2106 Washington Street.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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