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District at Eastover gets first tenant Baker Donelson law firm relocating

The Baker Donelson law firm in Jackson is leaving Meadowbrook Office Park, but it’s not going far.

The firm has signed a lease to move across Meadowbrook Drive to the District at Eastover, a 21-acre, mixed-use development on the former site of the Mississippi School for the Blind. Baker Donelson will anchor the District’s 120,000-square-foot office building that’s part of the development’s first phase. The building’s third and fourth floors will belong to Baker Donelson, taking up 75 percent of the available space.

The office development is planned as a five-story, multi-tenant Class “A” building with an adjacent 350-space parking deck and additional surface parking for 50 spaces. Holder Properties, a full-service, commercial and residential real estate developer based in Atlanta, will manage the development of the office project at Eastover. “Having a tenant the caliber of Baker Donelson adds value not only to this new office development, but to the entire mixed-use development,” John Holder, CEO of Holder Properties, said in a news release.

The firm will make the move in fall 2015, the release said.

Baker Donelson is one of the largest law firms in the Southeast, counting more than 690 attorneys and advisers in 19 offices across a seven-state footprint and Washington, D.C. The Jackson office, counting more than 80 attorneys and 150 total employees, opened in 1995, and was Baker Donelson’s first Southeast office outside Tennessee.

“Baker Donelson’s office in Mississippi is located in Jackson, and it was very important to us to stay within the city,” said William S. Painter, managing shareholder of the firm’s Jackson office. “Relocating to the District at Eastover allows us to be part of an exciting new mixed-use development in the heart of Jackson that will offer to our employees restaurants, banking, retail shopping and other amenities in a walkable environment. And because we participated in the design of the building from the beginning, we were able to focus on maximizing its efficiency. As a result, this move will allow us to accommodate our continued growth using a much more efficient office design and making better use of our space.”

The District at Eastover is a project of Jackson developers Ted Duckworth and Breck Hines, principals of The District Land Development Co., an affiliate of Duckworth Realty.

The 585,000-square-foot development will feature retail, office and residential space. Construction started last fall.

Jackson Mayor Chokwe Lumumba cheered Baker Donelson’s decision to stay in Jackson. “It is already a major employer and economic engine,” he said. “Its multimillion dollar investment in the District of Eastover represents yet another hallmark of progress and opportunity for the citizens of Jackson.”

Baker Donelson’s move gives the project a name-brand tenant, Duckworth said. “We are proud to stand with them in creating The District at Eastover in Mississippi’s capital city,” he said.

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