The Jackson Municipal Airport Authority agreed to provide an option to lease 130 acres of land in Rankin County for $25,000 to Freedom Real Estate . JJ obtained a copy of the lease agreement through a public records request. Freedom Real Estate is owned by Ron Harvey. The highlights of the resolution to lease the property are:
- JMAA leases 130 acres bounded by Lakeland Drive and Airport Drive
- Freedom's proposal was unsolicited.
- The contract is an option to lease real estate. The option is good for no more than 270 days. There is an initial term of 180 days that can be extended for another 90 days. Freedom has the "exclusive opportunity to determine the fitness of the property for the proposed project" within that time period. The option fee is $25,000.
- Freedom must agree to lease at least 50 acres of the property to exercise the option and lease another 50 acres to "exercise any subsequent commitment" under the option.
- Lease shall be for 40 years. Rent is determined by the Airport Authorities Law. Rent is to be recalculated every fifth year. CPI is to be used to determine if any increases are warranted.
- Freedom shall deliver prepaid rents for twelve months at closing.
Freedom Real Estate, LLC approached the Jackson Municipal Airport Authority and ultimately submitted an unsolicited proposal for an exciting opportunity for the Airport, the City of Flowood and Rankin County. The proposed commercial and retail development project also includes, but is not limited to, clothing and apparel, sporting goods, restaurants, jewelry, household goods, and banks. The Project site is bound by Lakeland Drive on the north and Airport Road to the west, excluding the Parkway Shopping Center.The map of the subject property is on page 14 of the lease agreement posted below.
The proposed project included financing components that are time sensitive and necessitated an expedited evaluation and decision by the Board of Commissioners for JMAA to move forward with the Option to Lease Agreement.
Manager and principal owner, Ron Harvey, Jr. is a graduate of Jackson State University and the Mississippi State University School of Engineering.
The Jackson Municipal Airport Authority is not selling but only leasing the land to Freedom Real Estate. Since the Project is not that of the JMAA but rather is that of Freedom Realty, the developer will assume all risks of the development.