With work on Farish Street’s Entertainment District scheduled to begin later this month, Jackson Mayor-elect Frank Melton said he’s ready to enlarge the plans.
“I want to expand the project to include the rest of Farish Street. We need to redo Farish all the way to Davis Street,” Melton said.
Two more businesses, Stamps Superburger and the Iron Horse Grill, were added last week to the roster of establishments planned for the historic African-American community. John Elkington, the developer of the two-block entertainment district, said he’ll start work on some of the buildings in a couple of weeks.
The $12 million revitalization project, just west of the Capitol, was a keystone in the lineup of economic development efforts under Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. Between mid-2002 and 2004, contractors installed water and sewer lines, reconstructed the street, bricked and widened the sidewalks, and put down antique-style street lamps.
But city residents elected Melton last week to a four-year term, and he’ll officially take over the city and the project on July 4. Under Johnson, the goal has been to get more people back downtown.
“We’re not reinventing the wheel, here. We have to finish up the current project as quickly as possible because it’s been approved and money is there,” Melton said.