A $40 million project that was announced in December of last year recently received its ceremonial start, when Gov. Tate Reeves, Mayor Toby Barker and Forrest County Supervisor President David Hogan – along with several other state and local officials – broke ground September 16 on the upcoming corporate headquarters facility for Jones in midtown Hattiesburg.
Jones – a family office and private equity firm with an office in Columbia – will locate the facility for more than 230 employees in The District at Midtown, the mixed-use development off Hardy Street across from the University of Southern Mississippi. The new building will be home to several Jones portfolio companies, including Codaray Construction, FV Recycling, Jones Logistics, Jones Lumber, Jones Power, PortaBull Storage, Spot and Big Black River Holdings.
“Today is a special day – a day that many people here have been working towards for a long time,” Reeves said. “For over 70 years, (Jones) has been an incredible neighbor – a leader in a variety of industries, and their success is very, very well-known.
“Over the course of that time, through acquisitions and internal growth, this company really has become a powerhouse – not just in the industry in which they started, but in multiple industries across the state, across the state, and quite frankly across this nation. The investment today continues the long line of community development that Jones has brought to this area of our great state.”
The headquarters, which will be approximately 80,000 square feet, will offer jobs beginning in the $80,000-per-year range. Construction is expected to begin this summer and will take 18 months to complete, with occupancy expected in early 2024.
“For our city, (this) is a validation of more than a decade’s worth of work and visioning, and in the case of Jones … it’s the product of many meetings that have been a joy to watch,” Barker said. “On this day, we see a small yet clear glimpse of what this city and (Jones) are capable of fostering when we come together and think big.
“With every passing day, the final product – the immense potential and unending promise of this project and of Hattiesburg – come closer. We as a community are lucky to be here and see it all unfold.”
Jones was formed more than 70 years ago as a family-owned sawmill in rural, southwest Mississippi. Today, the company employs more than 400 people in Mississippi and more than 800 employees total, with operations across the United States.
“We’ve been growing, thankfully, for a number of years,” said Jonathan Jones, CEO of Jones. “I think we have about seven offices across the county, the Pine Belt here, in this area. So we were thinking, where can we build an office that has the greatest impact on the community and also has the greatest chance of attracting more talent and retaining talent.
“What it comes down to, for us to have success, is literally our people. Our biggest restraint to growth is, without a doubt, human capital, and so that was the biggest driver in us selecting midtown. We want to be right across the street from (the University of Southern Mississippi), and we’re hoping that we have a deeper bond there – we give a chance for more graduates of USM to have an in-state, in-town location to go and work to have a career in a classy office space.”