While the threat of COVID-19 forced the closure of everything from restaurant dining rooms to malls, salons and schools in recent weeks, work has continued on several major development projects in Meridian.
Construction crews have been busy with the transformation of the Threefoot Building on 22nd Avenue, hanging door frames and painting sheet rock, said the project’s architect, John Campo of Campo Architects.
“Nothing has stopped,” Campo said. “It's just with the way of the world now, things have slowed down a bit getting some materials and workers at the same pace as it was pre-(COVID-19), but I'll say all in all, it's going very well.”
All of the framing is complete and the HVAC work is under way, he said.
A base layer for a rooftop bar that is expected to offer unimpeded views of the city is being installed.
Windows are being refurbished and those that have deteriorated beyond repair will be built to look the same, Campo said.
The Art Deco high-rise was completed in 1930 and was the tallest building in Mississippi at the time.
It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979 and designated a Mississippi Landmark in 2008.
Campo said the building was still on track to open as a Courtyard by Marriott in November and when it's ready, it will play a big role in Meridian’s economic recovery.
“This is one of the marquee projects that our firm is working on,” Campo said. “It’s not really about a hotel, it’s about the revitalization of a city. The hotel is a very big part of that, just like the children’s museum.”
About a half mile south on 22nd Avenue, walls and door frames were going upthis week on the future Mississippi Children’s Museum-Meridian.
Roofing, plumbing and electrical work have also been in progress, Executive Director Elizabeth Wilson said.
She said crews have not run into any supply chain problems due to COVID-19 and still anticipate an opening in early 2021.
“We’ve been fortunate to have not been impacted by it,” Wilson said.
Behind the Threefoot Building, near City Hall, a fresh coat of paint has given new life to what was once a Merchants and Farmers Bank.
John Purdy and his wife and co-owner of Threefoot Brewing Company, Bridget, plan to open a brewery in the space in the fall.
The couple partnered with Rebecca Combs-Dulaney, an investor who purchased the property and has plans for apartments above the brewery.
“It’s going good,” Purdy said. “We’re moving forward.”
Crews have painted the exterior, replaced broken glass and completed more demolition work inside.
After three years waiting to open a brewery, Purdy said he remains patient.
“With everything that’s going on with the pandemic, I don’t think we would want to rush to open the doors at this very moment,” Purdy said.
Hype Indoor Adventures, a family entertainment center, is expected to open at Bonita Lakes Mall in July in the former Sears space, according to the property owner.
Andy Weiner, president of RockStep Capital, said crews have been installing equipment.
In March, when the center was originally expected to open, Weiner said some of the equipment was delayed in China.
Given concerns about COVID-19, Weiner said he wasn’t sure if Hype would have to offer restricted access to customers when it opens.
The 93,000 square-foot facility is expected to feature trampolines, ropes courses, batting cages, virtual reality, axe throwing and indoor electric go-karts.
“We are putting in a safety and cleanliness management program to make sure that we are really safe and really clean,” Weiner said.