Sunday, June 23, 2013

Is downtown living the next big wave?

Jackson native Matt Bollian wrote urban living is here to stay and is the next big wave in residential real estate in a column published on the Team Jackson website. Lieutenant Bollian (West Point grad) opined:

"The Millennial generation, youth born roughly between the 1980s and early 2000s, are leading change in the U.S. that will transform the ingredient of suburban success.

According to 2012 study by Robert Charles Lesser & Co. (RCLCO), 88% of all Millennials, or Gen Y, stated they want to live in urban places. What does this mean for the future of car-dominated suburban locations if young adults increasingly desire to live in urban locations?

The first question to answer is why do Millennials want to live urban places. Realtors throughout the nations have noticed several trends among their Millennial first-time home buyers. Karen Smyth of Top Atlanta Real Estate says, “For the most part, the younger demographic in Atlanta is seeking housing inside the urban core. It is an urban, vibrant area, full of nightlife, dining, shopping, parks and activity.” Realtor Matt Fuller sees the same trend in San Francisco, “They [Millennials] want to be part of a walkable, vibrant, and diverse community.”....

In other words, Millennials are tired of wasting time and money driving to do simple tasks – buying groceries, eating at a restaurant, or going to the gym. They want to be in close proximity to excitement, diversity, and vibrancy. They want the ability to walk to their favorite restaurants, music venues, and theaters. With their strict zoning restrictions, suburbs don’t meet this generation’s notions of quality living.

Why does it matter what Millennials want? Over the past four decades, the 76 million Baby Boomers have defined housing patterns. They wanted white picket fences, large yards, and huge houses, and that is what they got. This was chiefly because they where the largest demographic force in the U.S, and thus dictated the market.

Well, their children represent an even larger demographic. An estimated 80 million are in the Millennial generation.

So, when Chris Leinberger, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute and professor of practice in urban and regional planning at the University of Michigan, was asked what might be behind a reversal of job-decentralization trend to the suburbs that has persisted over the last three decades, he easily boiled it down to a simple point: “The Millennial generation is demanding it....

What does this mean for Jackson and its downtown? Frankly, it screams opportunity. A large demographic – the largest demographic population in US history – wants a more urban lifestyle. Being that Jackson is the only urban area in the state of Mississippi, one could say that Jackson has a competitive advantage.

The question is no longer if Jackson is going to experience a revival; the question is when (or how soon) is it going to happen, and who is going to be apart of it.

1LT Matthew D. Bolian, a Metro-Jackson native, is a Distinguished Honor Graduate at the United States Military Academy at West Point and earned a MSc in Regional and Urban Planning from the London School of Economics (LSE)
." Rest of the article

The Lieutenant makes some good points but leaves out several factors. Notice anything left out of his equation? Schools. Yup. Millenials eventually grow up. They marry. They have children. Children go to school. One of the main reasons factors driving the growth of Rankin County, Clinton, Byram, and Madison County is education. There is a demand for downtown living: by people who for various reasons do not have children. Once children come along, priorities change and suddenly being able to walk to the speakeasy serving the latest craft beer isn't as important as placing little Johnny in an A rated school without spending $10,000 a year. Then there is crime but that is a factor acknowledged by all but a few local um, creatives. There is a demand for downtown living in Jackson. One downtown businessman told me if only 5% of the area population wanted to live downtown, that is still over 40,000 people. There is a market for living in downtown Jackson but it won't be the next big wave as the author seems to think.


Replacing Fence Boards Today said...

The yoots of today are a bit afraid of responsibility. They grew up under the shadow of mom's helicopter and dad's mini-van transporting them from Baskin Robbins to the soccer field to the picture show.

To this generation, suburbia represents a lawn to mow, a cypress fence to maintain, flower beds to tend to, Big Wheels to move out of the driveway and knowing how to add line to a string trimmer weedeater so they can keep the mailbox post orderly.

They shrink from those responsibilities and opt for a studio apartment somewhere near downtown where they can pretend to be involved in 'the green movement', identifying stars at night and riding a bicycle to an eatery that has umbrella tables and liberal college girls waiting tables. Wifi absolutely required.

It's THE NEW RESPONSIBILITY, otherwise known as democrat sheeple in training.

Anonymous said...

Two words - charter schools.

Anonymous said...

Once you have children, living in the suburbs in houses with yards to play in, local youth sports clubs, public schools, becomes more of a priority.

However, if there were to be a radical makeover of downtown Jackson, with safe public parks in which to play and with sports fields, safe public transportation, grocery stores and shopping, that could very well change.

Anonymous said...

At the same time the lil' " inner' city millennials " are leading the charge of the downtown crime wave .

Anonymous said...

12:08 you are correct. Downtown Memphis, Little Rock and Chattanooga just built their first public schools in years....all are elementary charter schools downtown.

Anonymous said...

12:41 what downtown crime wave?

Anonymous said...

One word Fondren.

Anonymous said...

If JPS sorts out one feeder pattern it'll be good for the city. Get the McWillie/Davis/Casey, Bailey APAC, Murrah pattern right, and there'll be some hope. The weak links are 6-12. Put the right admins in place and give them some room to do good work. It's not as far off as you might think. The raw materials are there among the kids. It's the adults who screw it up.

Anonymous said...

Good point. Schools aren't the sexiest topic, but they drive a huge number of people (black and white) to the Jackson suburbs.

Anonymous said...

11:00, your comment is reminiscent of something Shadowfax would say. Are you sure you're not his reincarnation?

Anonymous said...

Hey rube at 1:01. Fondren is not downtown. Y

Anonymous said...

I heard Ben Allen say once that, based on their trips to other "comparable" cities and their further research, Jackson should realistically expect to have 20,000 living in downtown. Having lived here my entire life, my opinion is, not in my wildest dreams could I see a number that large living in and around the Central Business District. That being said, let's assume he's 90% wrong. That would indicate that 2,000 people would live in downtown and I can easily see that. Right now, I would guess there are probably 300-400 units spread out in downtown, so even if the VERY conservative numbers are realistic, that means there's still a LOT of potential for residential development downtown....

Anonymous said...

The models that apply in cities like Seattle and Charlotte don't apply here. They already had significant culture, nightlife and jobs. They leveraged them to get more. Jackson has nothing to leverage.

Young professionals don't flock to downtowns just because they're downtowns. They have to have a reason. There is no reason to live in downtown Jackson. Jackson is a miniature Detroit.

Anonymous said...

Yeah right 8:35. Tell that to the new Westin, the new Marriott Convention Hotel, the 309 fully leased apartments, the DGB loft apartment project, the IBC (vaguely familiar , redneck?) on and on. Grow up and deal with change. Did you even LIVE here 10 years ago and the empty downtown then?

John Stuart Mill said...

If Jackson is Detroit, we will have Midtown, Downtown, and Belhaven Heights re-done to fit a different population than Matthew has in mind. The colonizers on the northern lakes are occupiers, anarchists, and not a marketing segment. I wouldn't mind new populations as long as they are peaceable and productive...and re-productive perhaps.

Josh said...

Nightlife and culture develop as people move in. It is and will continue to happen here. I moved to Fondren 10 years ago and I am amazed at the changes that have happened in this neighborhood.

Josh said...

Nightlife and culture develop as people move into a neighborhood. I moved to Fondren 10 years ago and have been amazed at the changes (for the better) that have happened in this neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

I just graduated from MS State and moved to Jackson and will be living downtown, at least for a year or two. The idea of renting a house in a sleepy neighborhood in the suburbs just kind of sucked. I figure there will be plenty of time for that later when I get old and just want to come home and sit around.

Anonymous said...


It's still empty, and I was here 10, 20 and 30 years ago. Dead is Dead, and corpse is called Jackson.

Anonymous said...

I've lived here for 29 of my 34 years, with the other five being in Boston and DC, 9:00. I worked downtown for five of those 29 years and have watched since 2004 when Butler Snow, Horne, Phelps, etc, etc, etc, started moving out.

I've heard people like Ben Allen run through lists like yours since I was on the Jackson Student Council. Back then it was the convention center, which now bleeds red ink. Then it was the Pinnacle, which now sits half empty. Then it was Farish Street, which never happened. Then it was the Old Capitol Green, which never happened. And there were always "X number fully leased apartments" just waiting for their tenants.

I've come to realize that the people who rely on these lists of pipe dreams typically are folks who've never actually lived in a successful downtown, and thus don't know what one looks like. Here's a hint: it's not a wish list, a convention center in the middle of a brownfield, and a bunch of empty office buildings.

Anonymous said...

9:15, I agree that sitting around doing nothing at your age sucks. Which is why it was really stupid of you to move straight to Jackson. I'm glad I spent a decade in bigger cities before moving back home to Madison.

Unfortunately, now your choices are essentially, "sitting around in the suburbs" and "sitting around in one of three or four dead bars in Fondren with the same two dozen people." In other words, you really blew it, kid.

You can argue with me now, but in a year's time, you'll know I was right.

Anonymous said...

9:21 see comments above. You are losing (it). Soooo sad for you.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the good laugh 9:15.

You must not be from around here. The only young people who move back to Jackson are the ones who aren't from the area and dont know any better.

Anonymous said...

9:15 it was not a hard decision. My dad is busy taking care of my mom who is sick and needed me to help him out at work. But since you are such a badass maybe I should have consulted you first. No need, though, as I've actually enjoyed being part of jackson these last few weeks. Good food and have met some nice friends (and there is some hidden talent here that I didn't expect, if you aren't too old to catch my drift). You go be old and happy in the burbs, I'll be working and happy in the city, maybe in 20 yrs if you're still here pontificating your badassness on blogs you can take the time to show me around your sea of identical looking 3/2's where I can go for the last phase of my life and sleep, drink lots of coffee, and bitch about the youngins doing crazy things like living in an urban, social environment.

Anonymous said...

10:18. Way to go. Tell off the small minded , country bigot. 10:12 get a real life. You are why our state is known as a hick ass place to be.

Josh said...

10:18 Gladly have a beer with you in one of our "dead" bars. I'll be one of the 2 dozen people you see sitting around. Sure beats a Chili's.

Reed said...

In other words, Millennials are tired of wasting time and money driving to do simple tasks – buying groceries, eating at a restaurant, or going to the gym. They want to be in close proximity to excitement, diversity, and vibrancy. They want the ability to walk to their favorite restaurants, music venues, and theaters. With their strict zoning restrictions, suburbs don’t meet this generation’s notions of quality living

The above paragraph is the crux of this foolhardy article.

1) Millennials are not that much different than those who came before them, except that they have a hugely inflated notion of their importance and worth. Twentysomethings have always enjoyed hanging out together in a pseudo-extension of college life. I didn't move to the suburbs when I graduated from college back in the late 80s. I moved to an apartment complex on County Line. Many of my neighbors were in their 20s and 30s. We hung out together and had parties and went to clubs on Saturday, but we grew up and had families and all that became less important, just like it will for the first Looey and his Millennial generation, even though they can't see that yet.

2) Jackson, especially downtown, does not fit this pattern. Anyone moving downtown to be able to walk to all this will be sorely disappointed. Move into the King Edward and you'll have to drive for groceries, for clothing, for prescriptions, for work, for school, for church, for dry cleaning, for movies, for workouts, for fast food, for ice cream, and for all but two or three music clubs or restaurants. If your idea of "excitement, diversity, and vibrancy" is the Elite, the Mayflower, Parlor Market, Dreamz and Underground 117, then Capitol Street is for you. Just get ready to have to drive to damn near everything else.

3) We all would enjoy a nice, close community where people walked the streets in relative safety and local merchants ran successful businesses that were no more than a block or two away. The problem with Jackson is that people have been trying to force that since the late 90s and such communities aren't pre-fab. They evolve and grow in an extemporaneous manner. You don't build it the way they tried on Farish (or Lost Rabbit for that matter). It has to happen on its own, and even then there has to be some life already there. There's no existing host downtown for such a community to feed on.

4) It has to be relatively cheap. The cost of a two bedroom flat in the Standard Life building is $2000/month. Most Millennials don't have $24K a year to spend on rent. If you price the young people out of the market, you're not going to have that vibrant, eclectic crowd. And once they get to a point where they can afford that, most don't want that lifestyle any longer. The stupid notion that baby boomers created the suburbs and this generation is radically different to the point they'll want to live in a smaller downtown apartment and be able to walk to music clubs for decades is idiotic and shows that the writer has almost no perspective. Try raising two young children in a 1200 sqft downtown apartment and you'll quickly realize that close proximity to Underground 117 means almost nothing.

Finally, trying to shoehorn San Francisco's residency patterns into Jackson is pure folly. They are not analogous. Sorry, Lieutenant, but LSE degree aside, you're completely wrong on this.

Anonymous said...

"Nightlife and culture develop as people move into a neighborhood". Oh yeah? Another cart before the horse theorist.

Typically people move to places that have things that attract them. People don't move into vacant venues hoping to attract the things they like surrounding them.

The millineals (or whatever they are) may be different. But, I don't know what they want other than a designer-beer parlor, a subway shop and a few Vietnamese shops that do nails and tongue studs. Where do they work, if at all? Where do they shop, or for what, besides sandals and tattoos? They don't have children, so education is not a concern.

Anonymous said...

"11:00, your comment is reminiscent of something Shadowfax would say. Are you sure you're not his reincarnation?"

The post made sense to me. What did you find disagreement with, 3:43?

Anonymous said...

8:35 pm

I grew up in Charlotte.

I'm still laughing at your comment.

The young people came first. The services follow people, not the other way around.

I also lived in Madison when there were no restaurants and no nearby groceries until there were PEOPLE. Business followed the PEOPLE.

The same pattern of downtown rejuvenation is true of Raleigh and Greensboro in NC which are probably even better models...particularly Raleigh.

Seattle? Where in the hell did you come up with THAT? Seattle is about as crazy as all the Detroit comparisons.

In your scenario you have hotels and nightlight first. IF that is the pattern, that attracts tourists/conventions and then young people can't afford to live downtown.

Where did you grow up? Las Vegas?

In the end, it's the commute and not wanting to spend more and more time in your car or on gas.

And, yeah, it's not having to spend your time doing yard work and driving so far to a hospital when your kid is sick or injured or worrying about them on the road so much.

That's why I don't live in Madison anymore. The commute,terrible building codes, infrastructure on the cheap, second rate,a water system and being in a tornado alley are other reasons. And, the two times I was robbed in Madison, Barney Fife showed up. Those guys made the JPD look like rocket scientists!

Madison is like a pretty woman on the outside but dumber than a post and who will age badly even with expensive surgical enhancements.

I don't need to go to Madison to do anything but when I lived in Madison, I needed to come into Jackson all the time. Now, I have a minimum of 1 hour extra a day to do the things I enjoy with the people I love rather than be in the car.

But, in the end, I'd rather have Denzel Washington as a neighbor than Honey Boo Boo's family!

clintonrebel said...

Mississippi is always about 20 years behind the rest of the country when it comes to trends. Yes this is happening in Atlanta, Chicago, even New Orleans, but you better wait 20 years before you buy into this trend in Jackson. And just think how cheap you can get into downtown Jackson in 20 years!

Anonymous said...

Reed check out the new Eastover project, I think it's The District, seems closest to what you are describing, you are right with being able to feed on host communities, such as Eastover, woodland hills, fondren, umc, st Dominic's etc. maybe the best of both worlds, urban social living tucked in northeast jackson

Anonymous said...

7:37, so you left Madison for.......Jackson to get away from a shoddy infrastructure?

Reed said...

8:45am - I've seen that project and it makes more sense than downtown. Still, it's in the dreaded suburbs with its lawn care and oppressive zoning. Not to be smug, but the article's point was that Millennials don't want the suburbs. They want downtown.

Fondren is as close as I think Jackson will get to this romantic ideal of mini-Manhattan. It wasn't built by a developer like a theme park, ready made for hip music clubs and craft beer parlors to move in at once. It was an established neighborhood with a retail district and the residents worked to make it what it is. That is what has drawn the vibrant, diverse crowd.

Fondren has grocery, dry cleaners, restaurants, shops, etc. within walking distance. Some followed the residents, but many were already there. Brent's Drugs, Campbell's Bakery, Walker's, Que Sera Sera, Kolb's, etc. predate the Fondren resurgence. There are few, if any, such establishments downtown.

One thing that makes me skeptical about the Eastover district is that I think such projects have an ersatz quality which diminishes their appeal. The New Urbanism model has failed more than it has succeeded, especially in Jackson. Lost Rabbit is a good example. I hope it succeeds, but even if it does I don't believe it will fit the model that Bolian trumpets in his article.

When I read his description, I think of communities as they are portrayed in movies and on TV. I'm reminded of Seinfeld and Friends and the movie Singles. It's easy to see such things and romanticize them, much like their parents may have idolized the town of Mayberry or the family life from Leave it to Beaver, but reality is a different thing.

Despite tales of waiting lists at the King Edward and the Standard Life, there is no evidence that the resurgence is in full swing (or any swing). Capitol Street is full of empty storefronts, even those close to the apartments. Farish Street's improvements are starting to exhibit neglect, like grass growing between the bricks of the new sidewalks. Most of the restaurants downtown were there before this push (Elite, Mayflower, Hal & Mal's, Martin's). If there's all this demand and all this desire, then what's the hold up?

I'm not a Millennial, but I need not be one to see that there's little downtown to meet that generation's desires as Bolian expresses them. I'm not anti-Jackson as many knee jerkers will claim. I'm just trying to be practical. If someone can explain the draw of downtown Jackson without snide anti-Madison commentary, I'd love to hear it. Maybe I just can't see it. Enlighten me.

Anonymous said...

new urbanism failures like Lost Rabbit fail because there is nothing urban about them. new urbanism is about density, of which this area has none. because of sprawl and white flight, we have 4 times the infrastructure we need to support so few people. no density = no urbanism = no concentration of income to make the live/work/shop/eat-in-one-place concept work.

Anonymous said...

1 word - Lumumba.

Anonymous said...

7:45, 8:45 here.

You also make me laugh, so I'm glad we can entertain each other.

The process is cyclical but it has to have a foundation. Otherwise Greenville could expect an urban boom in the near future. Just like some proto-stars don't have the critical mass to start the fusion reaction, some cities don't offer a sufficient reason for people to move back. That's not my opinion, it's from Richard Florida --arguably the most prominent evangelist for new urbanism and the creative class movements-- who now concedes that there are many cities for whom the model simply will not work.

In Charlotte's case, four major corporations and four universities had a presence in or near downtown before renewal began. That isn't the case in Jackson and it never will be.

But don't worry. I'm sure your view will be vindicated when Jackson becomes the next Austin. Any day now, right? Tell you what, when it happens, I'll owe you a beer at B.B. King's blues club on Farish Street.

Anonymous said...

9:48 am I mentioned more than a few other things as well and that wasn't first but yes.

You do know how the core of the systems were built , don't you?

It was based on the concept of making money for your supervisors and contributing developers and spec contractors with zero building experience...none of whom cared to contract anyone who was competent.

It was stunning to see houses passes county inspection when studs aren't properly anchored into the slab, when the electricity isn't grounded,when the windows aren't caulked,

It was amazing to watch houses go up with the studs nearly 2' apart. More interesting still to look at the wiring and piping more suitable for trailers going into large homes.

Here's another hint, look closely at the streets in Annadale. The developers got by with "highway robbery" on those roads so do you really think they were interested in the remainder of the developing responsibilities?

Many of the subdivisions are bulldozed pasture with zero prep.

Didn't your mother read you " The Three Little Pigs:?

Anonymous said...

If you are going to call yourself John Stuart Mill, you should have read his work.

It's a good thing there aren't ghosts or he'd be coming out of his grave after you.

Anonymous said...

Reed, your anecdotal experience is not a good basis for an opinion on this subject.

You are ignoring the time factor.

Cities do not experience a resurgence over night. You are ignoring the racism here in your generation which is not shared by many of those who are younger.

Things are changing and you just aren't keeping up.

Anonymous said...

Two important elements have been missing from this debate.

What impact will the soon to be "peoples assemblies of Kush" and Harbourwalk (phase one) have on this
magnificent plan for downtown Jack-town ?

Anonymous said...

8:35; Your theory is terribly flawed. Comparing people moving to Madison with people moving to jackson.

You may be able to recite some of Ben Allen's talking points, but you cannot list three reasons why you would find Jackson an attractive place to live for a twenty or thirty-something.

People didn't move to Madison accidentally or without much forethought. There were things there that attracted them. That retail and restaurants followed is beside the point. There is nothing to suggest a reason to move to Jackson other than your rather backward theory that "If we come, they will build it".

Anonymous said...

"Then it was the Pinnacle, which now sits half empty."

Pinnacle is 90% occupied.

Anonymous said...

11:49 sorry but downtown keeps getting better and better. Do you not read the news? Lastly, why do you seem to delight in the negative?

Do you not know anything about the dynamics of the growth of downtowns and capital cities near us? How and when they "happened"?

No you don't as you trot out your small minded "opinions" and masquerade them as facts. Truth is, YOU DON'T KNOW SHIT.

Anonymous said...

In most, if not all, of the vibrant downtowns discussed, you'll find a strong private sector cheerleader and investor - Little Rock/Stephens, Charlotte/BofA/Duke Energy/etc, Memphis/FedEx.... Jackson is missing this critical ingredient. The fact that we've lost C Spire, Ergon,WorldCom (which may have been a blessing) and recently PKY is a major concern. In most instances, the public is not privy to the factors that led to their decision to relocate, but I would speculate that poor leadership, jury pool concerns, etc. is among them. Without a thriving private sector committed to seeing downtown succeed, you're fighting a losing battle. The medical community (UMC, Baptist, St D) is all we have left. NMTC,CDBG, etc. will only take us so far.

Anonymous said...

I'm an thirty something and I live in Jackson. 3 reasons:
1. My entire life: work, kids schools, grocery stores, family/friends are within an 8 minute driving radius of my house.

2. I grew up playing in these neighborhoods. There's some value in sentiment, familiarity.

3. I like my 50 year old ranch house. I like working on it. I like doing stuff in the yard, and most of all I like not living in a McMansion and contributing to sprawl.

Pro Jackson people, we should keep this three reasons meme going,

Anonymous said...

I like it for the real feeling of a sense of place. Was at a cocktail party Friday night 2 weeks ago, talking to an old friend that lives in a McMansion in Ridgeland about this very same thing.

I told him that I loved knowing all of my neighbors, knowing half the people you see anywhere in NE Jxn, and the "this is home feeling". He (I swear before God) said "Hell I have lived in my small subdivision for YEARS and don't know one of my 36 neighbors. We just come and go".

I love being 10 minutes from work at 8 in the morning, all of the unique restaurants, all of the weekday and weekend events, the museums, the parks, the friendly people.

Anonymous said...

1:57 the battle is "challenging", but not losing. Losers lose and quit. Winners stick and stay. You don't have any personal knowledge AT ALL about differing communities.

Quickly....what brought about the resurgence of Baton Rouge???

Quickly...or is it crickets, then Google?

Anonymous said...

The thing I like are the awesome private schools. Yes they are expensive, but the scholarships offered to graduates at Prep, JA and SA, for those that apply themselves, more than offset the tuition paid for the entire 14 years. The average PER STUDENT is 3 times the amounts per student in all of the pubic schools surrounding Jackson.

This is a consideration never mentioned.

Anonymous said...

Baton Rouge... my guess would be Katrina (influx of businesses from NO) coupled with GOZone incentives and LSU... I don't profess to be an expert of every community, but recognize the need for private investment. Since you're an expert, buy a building and get after it. I'd recommend the old OffiSource building at the corner of Pearl and West. Lender owned, get some NMTC and build some apartments. No brainer.

Anonymous said...

Of the 3 private schools, only JA is in the city limits of Jackson. Prep is in Flowood and St A is in Ridgeland. I am very surprised JA hasn't moved out of town. The crime around it has greatly escalated.

And yes, I miss living in NE Jackson, where my kids' school, my job, my happy hour bars and most of my friends were all within about 5 miles of each other.

Wants The Jackson Tour said...

1:46 passes off as fact the following: "...sorry but downtown keeps getting better and better. Do you not read the news? Lastly, why do you seem to delight in the negative?

Do you not know anything about the dynamics of the growth of downtowns and capital cities near us..."

Perhaps he will come back and let us know what about Jackson is 'getting better and better' and where we can 'read this news'. Another Ben Allen cheering point. I have friends who'd like to be driven into Jackson to see these better and better things. Which route do you suggest we take to which neighborhoods, schools, eateries, public parks and scenic venues. I do want to impress them. Do we take State Street, Fortification, Woodrow, 80?

I wonder if 1:46 seriously wants to discuss 'the dynamics of growth of downtowns' in other regions compared to ours. Maybe he'll come back and give us a very brief ABC 1,2,3 outline of Jackson's dynamics and what about our capitol city has 'grown', improved or replicated anything remotely related to any other city its size in the lower right quadrant of the nation.

Lastly; It's racist to question Obama and it's negative to address the sad realities of Jackson. Ben's boys & girls have been alerted and are circling like disturbed red wasps.

Anonymous said...

St. Andrews lower is in Jackson. Prep's feeder school, First Pres is in Jackson. The uppers in both are just outside Jackson, but attended mostly by Jacksonians and Madison residents. JA is not thinking about moving and the crime has NOT escalated around there. If so, the hottest selling street in the metro, Sheffield Drive, would not be the hottest selling street. EYHO.

Anonymous said...

Or go down Lakeland north to Eastover Drive. Take a right. LOOK AROUND!!!

Now go find that in Ridgeland or Brandon or Clinton..

Anonymous said...

Back then it was the convention center, which now bleeds red ink.

Bleeds? The convention center is hemorrhaging red ink. It is the economic disaster is was predicted to be.

Negative Nandina said...

Things are getting bad when you guys have to throw a dart at a city map and wonder if 'crime is escalating' there. You can throw that dart a hundred times and may hit one area where crime has not escalated annually for the past twenty.

What you have above is two or three people posting multiple times anonymously claiming they're in Heaven personified living in Jackson. "I really dig the schools my kids can walk to, the scenery, knowing my neighbors, strolling under the street lights, gatherings at the public parks, sidewalk minstrels and clowns juggling for the children downtown." Right. Bullshit.

Anonymous said...

Sheffield Drive? Seriously? As in the Sheffield Drive with the raw sewage flooding the street? Don't they have above-ground sewage pipes on Sheffield Drive?

Making popcorn in Madison County said...

Sheffield drive is nice. Always has been. But have you takin a peak to see what's on the other side of your fence lately?

Anonymous said...

5% of the Jackson MSA King is 27,000.

Won't be even 10,000 people, probably far less, living downtown in 2023.

Anonymous said...

By the way, I call bullshit on the "I live 5 minutes from X" argument. This is Jackson, not Boston. You can live "5 minutes from X" practically anywhere in the metro area. I live on the north side of the reservoir and am five minutes from my grocery store and my kids' school. The only thing I'm not five minutes away from is the homeless guy jerking off in Smith Park.

Anonymous said...

Guys feel better? Acting like cynical assholes trying to embarrass us who live and love Jackson? Sorry won't work. Go take your aggression out and beat your wife. Jackson, particularly NE Jackson is awesome.. EYHO.

Anonymous said...

7:09 thank you. I live downtown and feel the same. Hang out at your strip malls and we will hang out here. And quit coming the phuck to our city.

Anonymous said...

Last month I was at one of the many festivals I attend weekly in Jackson. I ran into a former acquaintance who was crying his eyes out. Between sobs, he told me that he had made the terrible choice of living in a McMansion in Madison where all his neighbors were mean to him, unlike Jackson where we're all one large family.

We walked to the local craft beer emporium to have a drink, then met my family for our monthly visit to the Smith Robertson museum. We then took a twilight walk as a family down Gallatin Street to Battlefield Park where we joined our fellow Jacksonians for a community bonfire.

My friend told me that he had nothing like this in Madison. Living so far away - at least five miles from County Line Road - made it impossible for him to enjoy the plethora of museums, festivals, parks and walking trails of Jackson. As we went for a moonlight swim in Lake Hico, he decided to move his family from his 3500 square foot McMansion in Madison County to a 50-year-old ranch style house on West Street.

He's so much happier now, whether he's polishing the iron bars on his window or taking the family for a shopping trip to Metrocenter or watching the construction of Whole Foods in eager anticipation or getting his nails done at one of the many salons along Meadowbrook. Now that he's within walking distance of Triangle Mart, life is good.


Anonymous said...

8:54. You are one sick MOFO. Why would you spend all that time writing a bogus narrative? Sick or demented. God Damn boy get a plucking life!

Anonymous said...

hey 4:04:

go to ridgeland and look for a little enclave called bridgewater. look around-- if you can get in...

Anonymous said...

8:54 lives and dies on black failure.

Anonymous said...

8:54 is pretty funny.

Anonymous said...

8:54 is pretty damned funny, but forgot to mention the tour of the check cashing joints.

I am so bummed we don't have a single one of those in Madison, The City. How are we ever going to attract a tattoo parlor without amenities like that? :-(

New Moon Risin' said...

It's 7 a.m. on Tuesday. By now Ben has brushed his teeth, had coffee, put on his blinders and has sent out his daily talking points The sheeple have their marching orders and are gathered wherever in Jackson they can find Wifi.

Last nites beer bottles and the smell of Jatran smoke greet the day. Several of the Krystals are full. Who says bidness isn't jumpin' in Jackson? If we could import the smell of horse piss and the sounds of garbage trucks sloshing through streets hosed down with stink-water, we could easily be confused with New Orleans.

But,it's NOT New Orleans. Plans are in place. It's a new day. A coronation is around the corner, ground is being broken, studio apartments are filled, cash registers are ringing, Kool Aid dispensers have been refilled on every corner.

Downtown and the living is easy said...

I live downtown and those of you who say you have to drive for everything are crazy. First, I can walk many places, like Bodega, the Mayflower, the Elite, Parlor Market, Peaches Cafe. I've even walked to Hal & Mal's and Martin's, but that's a bit of a hike, so for places like that I prefer a bicycle.

Bikes are very common in urban areas and we millenials use them constantly, unlike you fat baby boomers who take SUV's to the local McDonalds. I ride my bike all over downtown and the area is very bike friendly, especially after 5 since there's almost no traffic on the streets at night, especially on the weekends.

If it's too far for a bike, I walk across the street to Jackson's state of the art transportation station and take a bus. Our bus system is great and I can get most anywhere I need to go. I never have to wait more than two hours before the bus I want leaves. I get dropped off within two miles of any destination I want. I take the bus to Fondren to meet my fellow millenials for a craft beer and hip music, because that is the essence of living to us. It's all we care about. You oldies are so outdated with your notions of suburbs and yards and family and safety. We're better than you. We're not racists like you. Times are changing and you're not keeping up.

Occasionally, I need to get to Madison to visit my parents in their McMansion for some supplemental cash to help pay my $1700/month rent and my sizable craft beer/hip music club bill. I usually walk up Mill Street and hop a freight train. It's part of the risk-taking, go-go lifestyle we millenials crave. I've only twisted my ankle once when jumping off at Madison Avenue and I did get beat up by railroad cops twice, but the danger is part of the thrill for young people like me. It's why I love living in an area where heavy crime is just around the corner. It makes it exciting and it proves I'm not a racist at the same time...because I'm not.

The only time I ever drive is when I go to work at the downtown Post Office. Any other time I hate getting the Infiniti out of the parking garage, and with all these transportation options, why bother?

Anonymous said...

Man, you suburbanite comedians are in rare form. Some real LOL parody.

Anonymous said...

Jokester as he is, 7:53 got my chuckle when he admitted riding a bicycle is cool, especially since there's no other traffic on Jackson Streets after sundown. She failed to mention how she gets over to Danny's, though, and no doubt she goes there for nightly fun and fantasy.

Anonymous said...

I have lived in downtown Jackson off and on for the past six years. First at the Tombigbee Lofts, then the King Ed (followed by a brief year in a McMansion)and now back to downtown Jackson at the Dickies Building (the best downtown place I have lived in yet). I agree with a lot of the posters that in Madison you really don't know any of your neighbors. I lived in Hatheway Lake for about a year and half and met one of my neighbors. The commute to work downtown was horrible as well.

My point is, its just what you prefer. Some of us (like myself) support the city and want to see it grow and other prefer the suburban lifestyle of rankin/Madison. I think either position is fine but I do have a problem when people hate on Jackson but make their living here. If you can support your family by working in Jackson the least you can do is support the city that makes that possible.

Shaun Yurtkuran

Anonymous said...

Just read where a press conference will happen at 1:30 today at the Convention Complex announcing that the Hyatt Hotel Group is building a Convention Center hotel.

Damn for a city that you folks say is on the ropes, this sure is baffling!

Anonymous said...

Everyone is a comedian. Well it's pretty ironic that the generation that emptied out downtowns across the country is the same generation that inherited a great economy and left it what it is today. My generation really appreciates what y'all have done. I can only imagine why we aren't doing everything exactly like y'all are.

Anonymous said...

Shaun, did it ever occur to you that your neighbors didn't have much interest in being your neighbor to begin with? You're a Hinds County District Attorney. The scum of the earth. You exhibit the quality of character that people are trying to get away from.

I'm glad you moved back to Hinds County. May you reap what you sow.

Anonymous said...

11:26, and that quality of character is what exactly? Being an attorney? Working in Hinds County? I'm glad you don't live here, and it would not hurt anyone's feelings if you would move even further away.

Anonymous said...


Thank O'bama, you twit.

Neighborly Nabob said...

Meeting ones neighbors, or not, is a matter of choice. It has absolutely nothing to do with suburban life. Fifty-Sixty years ago we left our swinging screen doors unlocked and went into and out of our neighbors' houses at will and their daddies disciplined us like our daddy disciplined them.

Things change. Choice of venue for housing has nothing to do with it. I choose to not know my 'neighbors' beyond those immediately bordering my property. Have no desire to know anything about them or what's in their refrigerator. I wave when they pass by and that's sufficient for my needs.

anon said...

As a Jackson native, who went to college out of state, lived overseas for two years, and moved back to Mississippi for law school with no intentions of moving back to MS at all, I admit I'm really glad I did. I'm married and in my late twenties and I couldn't imagine living in either of the suburbs of Jackson. Fondren is pretty amazing, and honestly if I wasn't married, I'd probably live downtown. I used to work in Ridgeland and it absolutely boggled my mind to read posts like some of the ones above and then watch the bumper to bumper traffic heading into Jackson from Madison daily. Although I don't agree with everything Lumumba has said, I do agree that people who work for the city, should live in the city. Although I don't have children right now, I have no plans to move outside the city when I do. Jackson is no DC, but it's also not Detroit or New Orleans. I don't attend happy hour everyday or even once a week, but when I do, it's nice to not have to get on the interstate to get home. I have family in Gluckstadt and I literally never see them because I never have a reason to go out that way. It takes me ten minutes or less to get everywhere I need to go on a daily basis. I don't judge people who choose to live in the suburbs, but I really wish they'd stop judging me.

Anonymous said...


I am proud to work for Hinds County and help a community and city that I dearly love. Call that scum if you will.

I only pointed out that if you make a living working in Jackson don't degrade the city, try and help it. I don't care where somebody decides to live, that's their business.

Shaun Yurtkuran

Anonymous said...

Torri, they can't stop. They can't help themselves. They are obsessed. Literally obsessed. Some of the yahoo's post over and over talking to themselves, as if they are different posters. Some really sick mofo's out there.

Reed said...

if I wasn't married, I'd probably live downtown.

Torri, why would you live downtown if you were single? What is the attraction, and why does it not apply to you after marriage?

You mention going to law school. Do you like the idea of being near MC Law? If so, when you graduate what would keep you downtown?

There have been jokesters and provincial bomb throwers, but no one can tell me what is the attraction of living downtown, long term. I just don't see the appeal, and I don't think it's a generational thing and I certainly know it's not that idiotic "out generation isn't racist like yours" that some numbskull said up higher.

Please elaborate. I'd like to hear someone give me an earnest, sophisticated explanation of the appeal of downtown Jackson as a permanent residence.

Anonymous said...

Tori: Do you have a job or do you meander around the confines of Fondren eating grapes?

Anonymous said...

No she stalks blog sites all day making fun of people.

Anonymous said...

4:11, I don't live downtown, and I honestly agree that on paper, it does not make a lot of sense to live there. Regardless, a lot of people my age are living there compared to five years ago. Someone wanting to rent at the King Ed and Standard Life has to get on an extensive waiting list despite the expense and the fact that the surroundings are not that great. There is room for growth and several other apartments are set to be built in the next couple of years. In short, it may not make sense, but it is happening. This is a nationwide thing that has been going on in some places for twenty years and seems to just now be making headway here. As far as amenities being close, I've read several posts on here that I agree with saying that the amenities follow the people. I would not be surprised if downtown had more walkable places to go five years from now.

Anonymous said...

6:04. Agree.

Anonymous said...

6:04 isn't from here either.

Anonymous said...

9:07, Oh, I'm not? Please educate me as to where I am from? Because you know everything, right?

Anonymous said...

What 9:07 knows is that it kills him for any success to come to our capital city. Obsessed like some of the other provincial small minded people that visit this site

Anonymous said...

4:11 several people described the appeal. Don't you read? Or do you just think everyone agrees with you about everything all the time?
Or are you just so invested in hating Jackson or your narrow views that you can't entertain the notion that not everyone likes the same things you like?

Anonymous said...

Hey 6:04. Are you happy that we are getting a Convention Center Hotel? Or does it piss you off that an international company is investing $60mm in downtown? Fess up!

Anonymous said...

12:07. I like your zeal, but you completely misinterpreted my earlier comment. I'm not anti Jackson at all. In fact, I live and work in Jackson, and I really do love living there. I just don't live downtown. My point was, whether or not someone can make sense of it, more people are moving downtown, and thats a positive thing for the area. Downtown Jackson as it stands, still needs some work before it becomes a miniature downtown Atlanta. You just cannoy ignore that fact. However, as people keep moving in, amenities will follow. The convention center hotel (which I am happy about to answer your question) and the Westin are both positive steps in the right direction. So no, I'm not pissed off. I would suggest that you not try to find opposition when it is not there.

Reed said...

11:34, Troll somewhere else. I am asking measured, legitimate questions that no one has answered in my estimation, and my 4:11 questions were asked of a specific person. Not you.

There's a lot of sniping here, but at least the anti-Jackson people have a sense of humor. The pro-Jackson people seem more bitter and nasty, with a few exceptions.

Anonymous said...

HeyTROLL at1:19. 11:34 was right on. Deal with it, empty suit

Anonymous said...

Damn! Who cares where these kids choose to live. The comments on this post is a perfect example of why this country is in chaos.

People are consumed with sports and bullshit while our conservative, elected officials (state and national) are treating us like morons.

Correction! We are morons.

Anonymous said...

Living downtown with no children could be fun, I once thought where I lived was the greatest until I had children. So many people now are not in much danger of having children that from their view point, living in a place with a high likely hood of crime is not a real problem.

Anonymous said...

10:53 put down the sauce. Check statistics. Downtown Jackson has very little crime. The CBD. very little. Bums from time to time, yes.......actual Class 1 crimes very little.

This is simply a narrative the anti-Jackson crowd repeats over and over.

Anonymous said...

7:51am, I'll make a deal with you. You leave your car parked unlocked over a weekend on Farish Street between Pearl and Capitol and I'll leave mine parked unlocked over the same weekend in the Dogwood Festival parking lot. Then we'll meet on Monday and discuss crime.

Anonymous said...

Oh goodie I get to be 100!

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS