Prudential Stedman & Associates Realtors relocate to downtown

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 19, 2006

A chance to occupy one of the best corners in Natchez was too good to let pass, said husband and wife Joe and Sue Stedman of Prudential Stedman & Associates Realtors.

Work is under way at 112 Main St., where the ground floor space will become the new home of the Stedman company.

&uot;We’d been talking about moving downtown for a couple of years. I can’t tell you how many times we looked,&uot; Sue Stedman said. &uot;Finally, one day we came down here. We both liked it right away.&uot;

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Their offices at 193 Seargent Prentiss Drive have served them well, Sue Stedman said. &uot;There are no negatives about where we are now. This has been a terrific place for us. But we had to have more room. We have about as many people as we can have in this building now.&uot;

Moving downtown is pleasing to both of them, Joe Stedman said. &uot;I just like being downtown, close to the convention center. I like the downtown synergism.&uot;

The company is leasing the space from owners of the building, some of whom occupy space on the second floor, renovated a few years ago. &uot;We have about 3,000 square feet on the ground floor and about 400 square feet upstairs,&uot; Joe Stedman said.

On the second floor, the real estate company will share some office equipment with the upstairs occupants, including the Waycaster Law Offices and Waycaster Architects.

&uot;That will be beneficial to both of us,&uot; Sue Stedman said, as she walked through the ground floor pointing out offices, conference space and other areas of the building. They hope to move by March 1, she said. &uot;It’s worked well for us and for the people who own the building.&uot;

Does the move show an optimism about the future? Sue Stedman said it does. &uot;We like downtown and we think the future’s bright.&uot;

The real estate market has been strong recently, she said. &uot;The volume in 2004 was significantly higher than in 2003, not just for my company but throughout the Miss-Lou.&uot;

The loss of International Paper’s Natchez mill had many business people nervous about the future and, in particular, Realtors nervous about their markets. &uot;We obviously have become diverse enough that International Paper’s closing didn’t slam-dunk the real estate market,&uot; Sue Stedman said.

Low interest rates and &uot;a lot of pent-up demand for real estate&uot; contributed to the market strength, she said. &uot;It’s been a general mixture in the market of everything from first-time buyers to people upgrading. And there have been people moving to Natchez either to retire or to have a second house here.&uot;

Recreational land, primarily purchased for hunting, also has been in demand and continues to be strong in the market, she said. &uot;That has continued to grow, and the prices have continued to rise.&uot;

The Stedman company has been in business for more than 20 years, having constructed their present building on Seargent Prentiss in 1982. The company employs 13 agents in addition to the owners. Joe Stedman has been a licensed Realtor for 32 years.