A Jackson neighborhood is set to see big improvements in the coming years. At its Oct. 27 meeting, the Jackson City Council voted unanimously to officially create the MLK Corridor Improvement Authority.
The main goal of the corridor improvement authority is to promote the redevelopment of the MLK Drive and Prospect Street commercial corridors. A portion of tax dollars from the authority district will be used to revitalize the area. A nine member board will be assembled to oversee the use of these tax dollars and allocate funds for projects. Proposed improvements are likely to include more commercial businesses, mixed use developments, housing, landscaping, infrastructure and pedestrian access.
Boundaries of the improvement authority are S. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive from Downtown Jackson to the City Limits at W. South Street and Prospect Street in its entirety from Fourth Street to Cooper Street. Commercial properties along the MLK Equality Trail, Jackson’s main pedestrian trail, are also included in the improvement authority.
The authority was proposed by Mayor Derek Dobies and Vice Mayor Arlene Robinson at the July 2020 council meeting. “Our current businesses and residents will benefit from a more dense commercial district,” Vice Mayor Robinson said. “It’s important for our residents to know that this improvement authority does not mean a tax increase for them. It’s simply taking a portion of tax funds and reinvesting it in our neighborhood.”
Mayor Derek Dobies says City leaders have been dedicated to revitalizing Jackson’s south side. “So far this year, we’ve seen a new public park created along MLK Drive, a $2.5 million road construction project, and a $1.9 million renovation of the MLK Recreation Center. That’s just the start of good things to come for the south side neighborhood as we move forward with the improvement authority,” Mayor Dobies said.
The next step in creating the improvement authority is appointing members to the board. Eight of the members must own a business or residential property in the authority district. One of the members is allowed to live within a half mile of the district. Applicants will be screened by City administration before an appointment by the Jackson City Council. An online application is available through the City website.