After sitting vacant for nearly two decades, a historic building in Downtown Jackson is about to undergo a big transformation. At the Tuesday, Jan. 24 Jackson City Council meeting, developer J. Jeffers & Co. presented an update on how they will renovate the historic Hayes Hotel.
Brian Loftin, J. Jeffers & Co. Senior Vice President for Development, told the City Council that his company is looking to start construction on the building in Sept. 2023. With a projected construction timeline of 16 months, developers expect the rejuvenated Hayes property to be complete in early 2025. The company is currently working toward securing tax credits and additional funding from the State of Michigan to support the construction.
The Milwaukee-based developer is planning a $27.2 million investment to rehabilitate the 10 story historic building to include 84 apartments, along with event, office and commercial space on the first three floors. The market-rate apartments will be a mix of studio, 1 bedroom and 2 bedroom units.
The Hayes Hotel property is located on W. Michigan Avenue in the heart of Downtown Jackson. Built in the 1926, the building functioned as a hotel until 1975. Consumers Energy used the property for office space until 2003. The City of Jackson took control of the building in 2004. For the past 19 years, the City has been preserving the building for future development. Efforts to sell the property picked up steam in 2021 when the City started collaborating with the Anchor Initiative for economic development. The Hayes Hotel was officially sold to J. Jeffers & Co. in April 2022 for $25,000.
J. Jeffers & Co. has previously completed sizable rehabs of historic buildings in Milwaukee. Loftin says his company is excited to start this project in Jackson. “A project like this is really in our wheelhouse. The building has a solid core and shell. Some may see blight, but we see a great opportunity,” Loftin said. “One of the things that attracted us to the project was all the work that’s already been done in the City, such as the vibrancy that you can see taking shape downtown.”
Following the presentation, the City Council voted to extend the development agreement between the City and J. Jeffers & Co. to allow the developer more time to prepare for construction.
Rendering of planned redevelopment of the Hayes Hotel property