Belhaven- Jackson’s best Urban District

I included most of the traditional areas of Belhaven but excluded the area west of West St. as this is a rather blighted part of the neighborhood and the sliver between the railroad and highway to the east as this is an industrial area.

Belhaven is named after Confederate veteran Jones S. Hamilton’s house, which became the namesake of Belhaven University. Fortification Street, which runs East and West through Belhaven paved over what was once one of the last Confederate battle lines during the Siege of Jackson. Belhaven Heights is the neighborhood’s wealthiest enclave and noticeably more hilly than the rest of the district. Because it hosts several universities and hospitals many of Belhaven’s residents are either faculty or staff working at these institutions. The neighborhood is one of Jackson’s wealthiest communities.

Urban form is not great in Belhaven and the neighborhood lacks a convincing urban business node as found in Fondren. The most promising area for urbanity is the mixed-use node at Jefferson and Manship and the hospital district to the west. State Ave is very mixed-use but the urban form is uninspiring and autocentric. Most residential areas lack sidewalks but connectivity is still decent. For Belhaven to become an quality urban district it needs to densify and create more mixed-use urban infill along State Ave and around the Jefferson and Manship node.

Click here to view my Belhaven album on Flickr


* Great access to Dwtn being just north of it.
* Decent connectivity.
* Excellent racial and economic diversity. Decent generational diversity.
* Belhaven is generally a safe area but the western edge is a bit rough.
* Several excellent schools along the northern border of Belhaven. A couple other schools throughout the neighborhood.
* No 1-bed homes but decent diversity elsewhere. 2-beds sell btwn 75K-300K, 3 & 4 beds sell btwn 130K-350K.
* Decent park amenities including a playground, recreational trail, a couple medium sized parks, decent quad open space in the two universities, and the expansive LeFleur’s State Park is on its Northeastern border.
* Good cultural amenities including a good # of food & bev businesses, a community theater, cultural amenities from the two universities, a couple live music venues, a College Art Museum, and several historic homes.
* Okay retail amenities too including a supermarket, a couple drug stores & banks, an interesting general store, a couple gift shops, a couple dessert joints & gyms, and convenient access to 3 hospitals and medical offices.
* Attractive first half of the 20th century architecture with some nice historic university buildings as well.
* Good tree canopy, especially north of Fortification.


* Low density for an urban neighborhood.
* Nice recreational path along the eastern boundary of Belhaven but not really no other bike infrastructure here.
* Other than the colleges, pedestrian activity is limited here.
* Rentals are pretty limited. Few 1-beds. 2-beds lease in the low-mid 1Ks. 3-beds lease btwn the mid 1Ks to 2K.
* Missing a local library & post office, few churches, and no department or big box stores.
* Most of modern in-fill is pretty ugly and auto centric but some decent urban infill around the Baptist Hospital.
* Urban form and streetscaping are generally sub par. Some hope at Jefferson and Manship with some mixed-use business opening and close proximity to the Baptist Hospital.
* Other than State Ave and Fortification, and a couple other spots, sidewalks are largely absent from the neighborhood.

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