Housing developer interest rises in 2014

Published 12:03 am Monday, March 2, 2015

NATCHEZ — More housing developers are investing in property in and around Natchez, City Building Inspector Jody Rutter said Friday.

“Construction’s usually slow this time of year due to winter weather, but not this year,” said Rutter, whose office issues permits for new construction.

The number of home construction permits issued in 2014 — some for work that starts in 2015 — was 404; in 2013, that number was 349.

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Those numbers include permits for three of Natchez’s biggest residential developments.

Realtor Glenn Green and builder Ricky Edgin plan to build 48 houses on U.S. 61 south of Natchez, on land known as the Hedges Plantation. Four builders have been contracted to work on the project.

“We can’t wait to break ground,” Green said.

Clarence Chapman, vice president of Century Construction Co., is set to build 24 single-family homes throughout the city, including St. Catherine Street and D’Evereux Drive.

A plan for that development has been in works for several years. “You’ve got to make sure you can get the financing,” said Chapman, who is based in Oxford.

And developer Jody Foster has received permits to build a housing development called Ashburn.

“Ashburn has jumped through all the hoops and should be ready to break ground soon,” Rutter said.

One big hurdle was overcome in August, when Natchez aldermen voted to rezone the 6.6 acres at the end of Ashburn Street to make way for housing to be built by Foster.

As it now stands, the development would include 33 units including patio homes and condominiums, Foster said. Each unit would be at least 2,800 square feet.

Foster said these types of housing are perfect as starter homes for retirees wanting small yards to keep up.

Foster noted that he must come before the planning commission to get approval for the project’s site plan. “We’re still in the early stages,” he said.

The Hedges, which will be located on a 600-acre plot, follows the growth of upscale subdivisions south of town, including Beau Pré, Edgin Plantation and Southfork Estates.

Green and Edgin’s subdivsion homes will average 1,600 square feet and will be priced in the $200,000 range, Green said.