/Town of Livingston proves, ‘If you build it, culture will come’

Town of Livingston proves, ‘If you build it, culture will come’

Landrum, a history enthusiast since childhood, was told that the area, once called Livingston, was the original county chair for Madison County. Landrum was intrigued and decided to take a closer look. He noticed a distinct square with cedar trees surrounding it. Landrum conducted some research and discovered that this exact spot was the county seat for Madison County between 1829-1833. There was a small town with a small courthouse, and it grew slowly until it disappeared. Landrum explained that the railroad moved from Livingston, Clinton, and Madison and by the 1940s everyone had moved away, so the town lost its charter. Landrum was intrigued by the beauty of the land and the strong demographics in the area and began to plan, plot, and dream. He said, “I wanted the town rebuilt.” Livingston is now located at the intersection of these highways. It feels like you are going back in history to find it. This 500-acre development includes period buildings that appear to have been built in 1830s. Landrum stated that one of the first steps was to hire Atlanta-based architects who are experienced in restoration. “They designed the town to restore it, and they also put the roads back where they were before,” Landrum said. The town is nine squares in size with each street built on top of the old streets. A weekly farmers’ market was created to encourage people to get out and take a look around the area. Live music, cooking demonstrations, and fresh local produce drew people to the property, where they could view the stunning landscapes for themselves. 73,000 square feet of retail, office and restaurant space was built in the first phase. The County Seat and The Gathering are supplied by fresh produce from Taylor Yowell’s Farmacy. The mercantile shop offers convenience store food, as well as fresh produce, craft beers, and gardening supplies. The gas pumps are visible at the front but they are not self-serve. Instead, attendants fill gas, check tire pressure, and clean windshields. A barber shop, sweet shop, florist, spirits shop and Farmer’s Table cooking class are all open in the Town Of Livingston. There is also office space available. This includes Landrum’s office responsible for Primerica and the Town of Livingston development. From May to October, the farmers’ market is open every Thursday from 5-8pm. There are live performances, local chefs cooking, and a wine garden under the tall cedar trees. Twinkling lights cast a twinkling light over the area, allowing old friends to meet up and making new ones as the sun sets. Landrum stated that it was their goal to create one of the best farmers’ markets in Southeast. The property has a concert series that features big-name entertainment. Livingston’s next project will be a chapel. Landrum stated that the next project at Livingston will be a chapel. Built in Camden in 1907, the chapel ended up at St. Andrews in Ridgeland. Landrum was approached about the possibility to move the chapel from Livingston after a major campus expansion didn’t make enough space. Landrum stated that the chapel should be complete by Christmas. The chapel will serve as a venue for weddings and corporate events. “We are also working on a non-denominational chapel plan. It will also be a functioning church.” Another development is a shotgun home with office space. This house will have front and back porches that can be used for gathering. In the next three to 4 months construction will begin on a 2-story building with a double porch and balcony. The building will have a retail space, offices space, and another restaurant. Landrum stated that the restaurant will have an upstairs bar, brick oven pizzas, and other fare. Regional Drywall Inc. has already leased the office space. Tulip Floral will also move into the retail space, which is currently located at Livingston. Life, a boutique gym and preventative medicine clinic will also be coming soon. While the plans for Livingston are still being developed, they already include a brewery where Livingston will make its own beer. Construction of residential cottages should also begin soon. Landrum stated that there are many other projects on the horizon. The Town of Livingston has an economic impact exceeding $100 million. Over 200 new jobs have been created and this number is expected to continue growing with the expansion.