A white steel beam, topped with a potted Cedar tree and an American flag, sat outside a white tent, awaiting signatures from a stack of Sharpies.

Today was the day for workers from Yates Construction to raise the ceremonial final structural beam in the Trustmark Fondren project.

Trustmark’s Art Stevens, president of retail banking, proclaimed the gathering a “celebration of progress” for the project under construction since early this year.

Acknowledging the work of Yates and project architect CDFL, Stevens said, “Great things are being done on this corner.”

That sentiment came just as easily from CDFL partner Rob Farr whose firm will be co-tenants on the building’s second floor.

“Welcome to the most exciting part of the metro area,” he said. “The children’s hospital… the Fondren [sidewalk] project and Trustmark: it can’t get better than that.”

“We’re pleased the building will fit into the community and accentuate the special elements of Fondren itself and how the district is perceived.”

Fondren Renaissance Executive Director Jim Wilkirson echoed Farr. “I think Rob said it best: it’s all happening here, a great day for Trustmark Bank and continuing your tradition in the neighborhood. (This ceremony) ultimately tops all this off and that you are committing again to our neighborhood.”

Ben Aldridge, Trustmark’s Hinds County president and a Fondren resident, said he is probably most excited for the bank to be complete. His office will relocate here. “I live exactly one mile that way,” he pointed north, “and I’ll be able to walk to work.”

Aldridge noted the economic renaissance in Fondren and its magnetic nature.

“This is the type of neighborhood millennials want and, in Mississippi, we need to keep and retain (that age group).”

According to Farr, completion of the project is slated for next spring.

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