McAnally and Wilkirson

Pack the boxes and load the truck: Fondren Renaissance Foundation has a new home! The decade-old organization has relocated to Mike Peters’ mixed-use Fondren Corner building in the space formerly occupied by Pound Photography.

FRF had been at their previous address at 3318 North State Street since 2001. Associate Director Mary Jo McAnally says the move is a good one.

“We served a purpose in being at the old location because we wanted to extend the business district north,” she tells us. “Now that it’s settled, it’s time for us to be in the hub, right in the middle of Fondren.”

FRF executive director Jim Wilkirson says he couldn’t agree more.

“It’s not more space, but it’s central,” he says. “We need to be in the heart of Fondren, so this move is exciting.”

He believes the new office on the first floor of Fondren Corner in suite 101 will be a gathering place, too. “We have so many neighborhood groups and this gives them a common home base to work from.”

The two-room office space gives more function and more visibility.

“We didn’t have people who just stopped in every day,” Wilkirson adds. “They’ll be able to do that here.”

As a hub of information and planning, FRF hopes the new office improves communication, too. With plans for a flat screen TV in the front window of their suite, announcements and general information can be shared easily with the public.

As for the old space further up the road, Wilkirson says it won’t sit vacant for long. “We have someone coming in, I believe, to lease through end of year and purchase in 2013.”

They will join others already in business in the overlay district: Doris Berry’s Farmers Market, the Mississippi Tennis Association and Mangia Bene, Inc. Also calling that strip home is St. Joshua’s Therapeutic Home, Richard McKey’s art studio and, most recently, Fondren Muse.

Update (February 2018): FRF’s offices are now located at The Cedars, 4145 Old Canton Road, across from St. Andrew’s Lower School