City of Vicksburg sets closing date for sale of Mulberry Street land, Washington Street Park to condo developer

Published 1:20 pm Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Vicksburg city officials and representatives for a Ridgeland company planning to build two condominium projects in the downtown area will close the sale in the first part of 2022.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen Monday amended its agreement with MidSouth Companies LLC of Ridgeland to close the sale within 30 days of Jan. 1, 2022. MidSouth proposes to build two condominium complexes at Washington Street Park and on land adjacent to the north side of the Vicksburg Convention Center on Mulberry Street.

“This will allow us to use Washington Street Park for Christmas and give them (MidSouth) more time to get themselves ready,” City Attorney Nancy Thomas said.

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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 for the properties. The initial closing date was expected to be within 30 to 45 days.

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 the 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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