Meridian, Miss. The ground has been broken and the construction fence is up, as Chartre Companies is finally beginning construction on the old BellSouth Building on the corner of 23rd Avenue and 7th Street in downtown Meridian. While this is a risk for Chartre, President and Meridian native Clarence Chapman says that he believes it will help the city grow.
"Being the first position we've taken on the ground in this market, it makes us more involved in the other developments we're seriously interested in."
Doc Braswell, who worked in the building for close to 30 years is glad to see that a place that's special to him will finally be home to others after being vacant for quite a while.
"It just makes Meridian one of those places that continues to grow and evolve into a modern city, and I'm very pleased to see this old building which is probably approaching 100 years old to be a part of our Downtown heritage and become a real useful part of our community."
Chapman believes that the building's location is crucial to helping continue Downtown's revival and to also continue to support Meridian's large medical community.
"Y'all have a lot going on Downtown that appears to us that appears ready to gel for the benefit of renovating and restoring Downtown Meridian, and we're happy to have an opportunity to get involved in it early."
Leasing for the 27 luxury apartments in Cumberland Terrace will begin about 60 days before construction is scheduled to be completed, and the first residents should move in during November.