A Jackson neighborhood is set to see big improvements in the coming years. The MLK Corridor Improvement Authority is getting that work started by holding its first official meeting of the Board of Directors on Thursday, May 27.
The main goal of the improvement authority is to promote the redevelopment of the Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and Prospect Street commercial corridors. 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 S. Cooper Street. Commercial properties along the MLK Equality Trail, Jackson’s main pedestrian trail, are also included in the improvement authority.
A portion of tax dollars from the authority district will be used to revitalize the area. Proposed improvements are likely to include more commercial businesses, mixed use developments, housing, landscaping, infrastructure and pedestrian access. A nine member Board of Directors will oversee the use of these tax dollars and allocate funds for projects. The following is a list of board members appointed by the City Council:
- Mindy Bradish-Orta
- Lee Hampton
- James Johnson
- Daniel Mahoney
- Anthony Parker
- Diane Washington
- City Councilmember Arlene Robinson
- Mayor Derek Dobies
- Chief Equity Officer John Willis
Councilmember Arlene Robinson, a member of the MLK board who serves Ward 1 on the City Council, says she’s looking forward to the positive changes coming to her neighborhood. “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,” Robinson said.
Also serving on the board is Diane Washington, who lives one block away from the authority district. Washington would like the authority to create more businesses opportunities in the neighborhood. “Our neighbors have to travel outside the community for basic needs like getting groceries or health care. I’d like to see the authority focus on getting simple things like a grocery store and medical facilities to build up our neighborhood,” Washington said.
Meetings will take place the fourth Thursday of every month at 5:30 p.m. Information on how to join meetings will be posted on the City website.