City of Vicksburg clears way for condos at Washington Street Park

Published 1:49 pm Wednesday, August 25, 2021

A Ridgeland company could soon begin construction of two condominiums at Washington Street Park and on land adjacent to the north side of the Vicksburg Convention Center on Mulberry Street.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen Wednesday approved conveying the properties to MidSouth Companies LLC of Ridgeland, clearing the way for the company to begin construction. City Attorney Nancy Thomas said the city could close the transfer of the properties within 30 to 45 days.

The board in February approved a resolution declaring the Washington Street Park property and the property adjacent to the Vicksburg Convention Center as surplus property. It then approved a real estate sale and development agreement with MidSouth Companies LLC of Ridgeland for the properties.

According to the sales and development agreement, MidSouth will build about 20 condominium units on each property. Under the agreement, the company has four years to complete the project or the property is returned to the city.

MidSouth has the option to buy the property from the city if it fails to meet the development deadline under the agreement.

Thomas said in February the real estate sales and development agreement is allowed under a provision in state law that lets the board determine that the investment, potential revenue, payroll, increased population and increased “foot traffic” in the downtown area and blight elimination is “fair and valuable consideration” for conveying the land.

At the time, MidSouth indicated it was considering a $10 million to $11 million investment to build condominiums on two pieces of property in Vicksburg’s downtown district.

The company officials projected the project to bring in an estimated $157,000 annually in property taxes as well as an estimated $5 million in payroll, construction material purchases and sales tax.

Developed at a cost of $146,538, Washington Street Park is a multi-use park at the corner of Jackson and Washington streets that features a stage and sidewalks. It has served as the site for the Vicksburg Farmers Market, Christmas in the Park and other events.

The Mulberry Street property was designated in 2018 as the site for the Mississippi International Arts Pavilion, a building featuring approximately 20,000 square feet of gallery space to show international works of art.

In the 1860s, it was the site of the A.M. Paxton foundry that made cannon parts. Some of the foundry’s walls face South and Mulberry streets and one of its doorways faces South 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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