South Jackson church purchases the once thriving Appleridge Shopping Center
JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - A church in South Jackson is looking to breathe new life into a shopping center that’s been abandoned for over a decade.
Apostolic Restoration Ministry became the official owner of the once thriving Appleridge shopping center this past Thursday.
It’s all part of the vision of the church’s pastor, Lanford Porter, who has worked to get rid of the eyesore for years now.
“Our plans are for this particular property are to put 40, one-bedroom apartments and 40, two-bedroom apartments to address some of the housing problems, especially when it comes to the aging in our society,” Porter said.
Every day for nearly eleven years, Pastor Porter had to look at the dilapidated property across the street from his church, Apostolic Restoration Ministry. He said it was often home to vagrants.
In fact, he once described the abandoned shopping center as a ‘mecca for crime.’
He said almost immediately after the building was torn down last summer, crime in the area went down with it.
“You got this wide-open space, and there’s no place to hide,” he said.
In the short term, Porter plans to use and already has used the property for additional parking. This allows his church to hold various events like the back-to-school drive that took place a few weeks ago.
He’ll also use the 14-acre plot to bring his congregation outside to worship.
“We’re going to have an outside stadium setup for outside services because COVID-19 and, now, monkeypox has come into play. We’re going to have services where people can just drive up in their cars,” Porter said.
He said the motivation behind all these plans is to restore an area of South Jackson that has fallen on hard times.
“Anytime people have an investment in their community, they have a tendency to support it. Not only that, but they also have a tendency to help take care of it,” he said.
The Pastor said his team is helping to secure funding for the project, and he hopes to have the senior facility built in the next sixteen to seventeen months.
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