Downtown Jackson News


Ben Allen Announces Retirement

Ben Allen announces retirement from Downtown Jackson Partners

Under Allen’s leadership, Downtown experiences a nearly $1 billion renaissance

JACKSON, Miss. (June 21,  2018) – After more than a decade at the helm of Downtown Jackson Partners (DJP), Ben Allen has announced his retirement, effective September 30, 2018, leaving behind a record of unparalleled growth and development in Mississippi’s largest central business and residential district.

“Ben’s commitment to the success of Downtown Jackson cannot be overstated,” said  Steve Davis, chairman of the DJP board of directors. “His leadership has resulted in tens of millions of dollars in new projects that have transformed Downtown into a place that has attracted many new businesses and hundreds of new residents.”

Allen, who began his service to Jackson as a city councilmember for 10 years, took the reins of DJP in 2007.

“I am so proud to have had the opportunity to be part of an organization that has been instrumental in transforming Downtown into a premier district for business, government and residential living,” said Allen. “The real credit goes to all those dedicated men and women who continue to see the potential of Mississippi’s largest, most progressive Downtown area.”

Since Allen became president of DJP, Downtown has seen many new public and private developments totaling nearly $1 billion.

Private developments include:

  • Tombigbee Lofts                                                           $1.5 million
  • Pinnacle at Jackson Place                                            $48.5 million
  • King Edward Hilton Garden Inn                                      $89 million
  • 200 North Congress Renovation                                     $3 million
  • Langston Building                                                         $2.2 million
  • Standard Life Flats                                                       $35 million
  • 100 West Capitol mixed use                                         $1.7 million
  • Dickey’s Building mixed use                                         (not known)
  • Eley Guild Hardy 329 East Capitol building                    $1.7 million
  • Foundry Lofts                                                              $1.5 million
  • Iron Horse Grill                                                            $6 million
  • Westin Hotel                                                               $65 million
  • Capitol Art Lofts                                                          $10.7 million

Public projects include:

  • Art Garden at the Mississippi Museum of Art                 $5 million
  • Walter Sillers Building renovation                                  $28 million
  • Mississippi Supreme Court                                          $42.7 million
  • MDEQ office renovation                                               $6 million
  • Jackson Convention Complex                                      $65 million
  • Old Capitol Museum                                                   $16 million
  • United States Federal Building                                    $122 million
  • Thalia Mara Hall restoration                                        $5.5 million
  • McCoy Federal Building renovation                             $86.7 million
  • Capitol Street Renaissance                                        $9.2 million
  • JSU West Capitol Street renovation                            $2 million
  • Museum of Mississippi History                                   $65 million
  • Mississippi Civil Rights Museum                                $74 million

Projects currently under construction, include:

  • Heritage Building mixed use Capitol Street (4 apartments and offices)
  • 400 block of East Capitol mixed use
  • Lamar Life Building Capitol Street mixed use (24 apartments)
  • Landmark Center mixed use (grocery store, offices and 200 apartments) Capitol Street
  • Edison Walthall apartments (128) and mixed use
  • Faulkner Building Events Center Capitol Street

Allen, who began his service to Jackson as a city councilmember for 10 years, took the reins of DJP in 2007. Under his leadership, Allen:

  • Established the “Block by Block Downtown Safety Ambassador Program”.
  • Established “Downtown Courtesy Hotline” for all downtown visitors’ and residents’ convenience.
  • Helped birth the Jackson Free Press “Boom Jackson” magazine, and the “Jackson” edition of “Portico” magazine.
  • Founded and served as the chair of the community involvement organization “Team JXN”.
  • Procured $9.8MM in federal and state funding for the “Capitol Street Renaissance” project, turning “Mississippi’s Main Street” one-way street into two way.
  • Led the restoration of historic Smith Park.
  • Instituted public art “Welcome to Jackson” murals and others

The DJP Board of Directors has unanimously approved Associate Director John Gomez, a 13 year employee, as Interim President of DJP beginning October 1, 2018.