bannerhallA north Fondren shopping and dining destination is looking a bit different these days. Banner Hall, built in 1987, has lost its seaside color scheme in favor of something more modern. The work, started just over a week ago, is being called an “image changer” for the building located off Northside Drive’s Exit 100.

John Evans, owner of Lemuria and part owner of Banner Hall, moved here from Highland Village about thirteen or fourteen years ago. That was the same time Jeff Good and Dan Blumenthal moved their Broad Street Baking Company in down stairs. Several years ago, Evans, Good, Blumenthal and the owners of Tuxes Too and The Bridal Path formed Banner Hall, LLC and purchased the building.

The timing couldn’t be better for a makeover. Evans said the building has just been paid off and Whole Foods is nearing completion across the interstate at Highland Village. He added, “We’re coexisting with the developments across the way and putting our energies into exit 100 with a cohesive revitalization.”

Exterior paint and landscaping come first, followed by a complete parking lot redo. Evans said Banner Hall is working with an architect to plan interior upgrades for a later date as well. “We have a plan of making the second level more comfortable and painting inside, hopefully with a cohesive look,” he explained.

The outside of the building has been primed, and final colors will center around a white and gray scheme. “I proposed Fondren colors at first,” Evans said. “I felt like that was a good way to tie the exterior of Fondren into heartbeat of Fondren.” Ultimately, the makeover was about creating a brand for Banner Hall. “I want to make sure this place becomes a sign post again.” The giant, scrolly banner sign has been removed from the front with an overall effort to create a lean and clean look.

The work, according to Evans, is set to be completed before Thanksgiving. That’s when Lemuria’s traffic increases for the holidays. The “mood change” is also vital to a particular photo: Evans hopes the painting, at least the northeast corner, is finished so that photographer Ken Murphy can photograph Banner Hall for Lemuria’s upcoming picture book, ‘Jackson: Crossroads of the South.’

What does the redo say about Banner Hall and her owners? Evans posited, “I hope it says it’s solidly committed to the revitalization of Fondren and an overall commitment to the rebranding of a more positive image of Jackson.”

Broad Street Baking Company, Lemuria, Tuxes Too, The Bridal Path, Aqua the Day Spa, Barnette’s Salon, Creative Distillery and Fresh Ink make up the Banner Hall tenant roster. A space is available on the third floor. Evans says he doesn’t think it will take long to fill, adding, “Always nice to be full.”