Former Fred’s Location to get Historically-Friendly Makeover

COLUMBUS, MS – Courtesy of the Dispatch

Local entrepreneur Jim Mauldin recently purchased the old Fred’s location on 5th St South in Columbus. He plans to create a climate-controlled self-storage facility there in order to serve residents and businesses in the area: “There are lots of people who have downtown apartments, who have small houses on North- and Southside,” he said. “… We’re looking for everybody, but that’s the market we’re intending to be able to serve. So having the downtown community was a factor in us deciding to move to service this area, and we want to be part of that community also.”

Jim Mauldin gestures toward the original barrel vault ceiling in the nearly 75-year-old building at 304 Fifth St. S in Columbus – photo by Isabelle Altman

Renovations to the site have already begun, including knocking out interior walls and removing the old drop ceiling, revealing the original barrel-vaulted one that is original to the structure. Mauldin has also explained that, once he can get the hard-to-find materials, he plans to redo the facade with “a black … 1920s vintage-style glass that goes around the outside of the window frames,” he said. His plan is to do work on the site that will conform to the standards set forth by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. The building itself will be renamed the “Freeheart Building,” in honor of its original name, the Freeheart Bakery, founded in 1948. “We’re going to restore (the building) back to a really good look that will be a good anchor for this corner and style, and still be able to (run) it as a commercial building,” Mauldin said. “It’ll be nicely lit, it’ll be clean, it’ll be fresh,” he said. “It will have a tilt of the hat, as a commercial building today, to the way it looked when it was really in use back then.”

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