JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) – For nearly two decades, the ten-story Hayes Hotel in the heart of downtown Jackson has remained vacant, but city leaders say the time for redevelopment is now.

“I think we are going to see what’s considered a blighted property turn into a very valuable contributing property for the community,” said Public Information Officer for the City of Jackson Aaron Dimick.

After being sold to a developer from Milwaukee in 2021, the city says the company J Jeffers and Co. recently announced plans for construction to start in the fall with a timeline for completion set for early 2025.

It’s a project that would bring with it a series of long-awaited updates to the space.

“They would like to do 84 apartments in the building from floors 4-10 and that’s going to be a mix of studios, one bedrooms and two bedrooms and then the first three floors it’s going to be a mix of retail, restaurants, office space and commercial space,” said Dimick.

The re-development is estimated to cost a little more than $27 million. The money to fund the project will come from the developer who says they are also working to gain additional funding from tax credits and help from the state.

“The desire to make this a reality extends well past Jackson and definitely has the support from a state level for that,” said Brian Loftin, senior vice president for development at J Jeffers & Co.

It’s progress that the city hopes will take this once crown jewel and help it reclaim its place as the heart of the city.

“We already have a lot of great momentum in downtown Jackson, but the Hayes Hotel property rejuvenation is really going to take us to the next level,” said Dimick.

Plans also include keeping some of the classical elements of the hotel that many people remember.