Much needed improvements are on the way to Historic Farish Street District

More than 60 properties will be renovated
Published: Mar. 22, 2023 at 10:23 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - If you have driven throughout the Historic Farish Street District, you have probably noticed the area is hungry for some much-needed improvements.

That’s why developers are now looking to revive that area.

Many homes sit empty or boarded up, creating an eyesore for many living in or passing through the district.

“Well since I grew up in this area, my heart is broken to see how bad it has gone down,” said Dorothy Davis, President of the Farish Street Community of Shalom. “It’s almost unlivable, and it seems like nobody cares.”

Davis said this isn’t the Farish Street District that she once knew.

That’s why she’s excited to hear about the Leonard Court Project, which is aimed at improving the area.

“What I love about this one particular investor is they came to the community first to ask what they want to see done in the community,” Davis expressed. “Most of the investors come in, and they never talk to the community. They tell you what they think is best for the community. This was the big difference, so we are very excited to have them come in.”

Under this project, 67 properties will be rehabbed. They will be in different areas throughout the district including Cohea, Mill, Monument, Farish Streets, as well as Botnick and Leonard Court.

“They will be leased to low-to-moderate income families for them to live there,” said Ester Ainsworth, Zoning Administrator for the City of Jackson.

Since most of the properties being rehabbed are residential, Ainsworth said residents who are living inside a home that’s being renovated, will be put in another home until work on theirs is complete.

”Anybody that’s living there now won’t be displaced,” said Ainsworth.

Once the project is finished, residents could see an increase in their rent.

The exact dollar amount will differ depending on the home.

“There’s going to be a targeted, maximum amount that’s going to be charged for rent in that area, so it’s an opportunity to provide people with affordable housing,” Ainsworth explained. “The intent is to be able to provide people with an opportunity to live in safe, decent, and affordable housing.

“Everybody knows the history of Farish Street, and so this will be the first step in the real revitalization of Farish Street,” said Daivs.

The goal is for the project to begin by the end of the year.

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