HRI Properties celebrated the start of the restoration on the historic buildings that will be transformed into the Capitol Art Lofts, an affordable residential project with a focus on the creative economy. HRI Properties President and CEO Tom Leonhard was joined by Governor Phil Bryant, Senator David Blount, Mayor Tony T. Yarber, Jackson City Councilwoman Margaret Barrett-Simon, Mississippi Housing Corporation Executive Director Scott Spivey and William Callihan, Vice President of Chase Bank to commemorate the significant redevelopment for Jackson’s historic downtown.

The advancement of this project ensures the adaptive reuse of historic buildings in downtown Jackson, a trend important to the current revitalization efforts in the area. HRI Properties also developed the King Edward Hotel and the Standard Life Building, which have brought residents, visitors, amenities and economic resurgence to the once-abandoned downtown district.

Governor Bryant said, “I’m excited to see this worthwhile project get underway. These architecturally significant buildings will have new life breathed into them, thanks to the power of historic preservation and utilization of the Mississippi State Historic Tax Credit and the Mississippi Home Corporation’s allocation of Low-Income Housing Credits. I cannot wait to see the finished product and for current and future citizens of Jackson to have a new, affordable residential option downtown.”

“We are thrilled to officially break ground on the Capitol Art Lofts. This is a project that has been in progress for quite some time and we are extremely appreciative of the State of Mississippi for continuing its support of HRI’s vision for this neighborhood. We are excited to continue the construction progress and to unveil a beautiful new block of West Capitol Street later this year,” said Leonhard.

Mayor Yarber said the groundbreaking points to Jackson's continued resurgence. “This project underscores the City's emphasis on providing quality, affordable housing. It also demonstrates the financing opportunities available through local, state, federal and private sector collaborations and how such collaborations translate into redevelopment and stronger communities.”

“The construction of the Capitol Art Lofts is a huge advancement for downtown Jackson. This project clearly serves the multiple public goals of affordable housing creation, blight elimination, historic preservation, and economic development through stimulating the creative economy. I could not be more proud to see this project take flight and to be here today to take part in the official groundbreaking,” said Councilwoman Barrett-Simon.

First proposed in 2012 following HRI’s successful downtown Jackson renovations of the King Edward Hotel in 2009 and the Standard Life Building in 2010, the Capitol Art Lofts project is composed of two groupings of architecturally significant commercial buildings constructed between 1885 and 1929 in the 200 block of West Capitol Street. Much like HRI’s comparable recent developments in New Orleans, the Bywater Art Lofts and the Blue Plate Artist Lofts, the properties will be converted into 31 affordable residential units that will provide leasing preferences for artists and medical industry workers. Amenities include community areas, art gallery/studio spaces, a business center and fitness center.