Helm Place developers plan expansion in Historic Farish Street District

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The developer of a group of town-homes in the Historic Farish Street District has plans to expand his properties for more families.

The first two phases of the Helm Place development have provided 88 new town-homes between Farish Street and Lamar Street.

Now, Oxford-based developer Chartre Companies, Ltd. wants to build 70 more.

At about $680 a month, owner of Chartre Companies, Ltd., Charles Chapman says Helm Place has added quality, affordable housing to a neighborhood that had been neglected for decades, “It is for working class families that can afford to pay reduced rent, but could not afford one of these homes if they had to pay the full cost of it.”

Baba Lukata owns the Afrikan Art Gallery on Farish Street. He says he’s been conflicted over Helm Place. “The affordability aspect has gone out the window. I mean they’re not affordable homes or low income affordable homes…From a business perspective, the potential for new business and that kind of thing is enlightening and encouraging. However, since the complex has been completed, we haven’t seen those individuals who have moved into those complexes coming into this area,” Lukata said.

Of the 70 homes that are in the expansion plan, Chapman says they own all of the vacant homes or lots except for about 10, “We’re getting [them] from the city that came through the state…We’ve been a successful bidder on them, and the city council just has to approve those.”

In order for them to move forward, Chapman must get a Certificate of Appropriateness from the Jackson Historic Preservation Commission.

The company withdrew its application at the last meeting in June. Commission Chair Jeff Seabold told me they’ve gotten mixed comments from the community regarding the expansion.

 

Chapman says they do plan to reapply for the Historic Preservation Commission’s approval.

After phase three, they plan to start phase four. It would add more homes behind the old New Deal grocery store.

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