COLUMBUS, MS – Courtesy of the Dispatch
Local firm TGV Properties, owned by Tom Velek and his wife Cynthia Buob, recently acquired the structure adjoining the old Fred’s location (which we wrote about recently) at 322 Fifth St. S. This will be the largest project thus far for this veteran development group. Veleks says that the plans are to renovate the space and make available 1,400 sq ft of commercial space on the first floor, a pair of 1-bedropm apartments above it, and to turn the rear section of the building into the business district’s first 2-story apartment. He went on to say that, “We have found that there is a real need for small commercial space . . . There are a lot of small businesses that need an affordable, small office space still in downtown. … We really like the mixed-use model and we feel that our record proves that there is a need for small business in downtown.”
TGV will be working with a Jacquelin Lee, a 3rd year university student, in order to properly examine and document the structure for historical purposes, including the possibility of obtaining a historic tax credit from MDAH in exchange for maintaining construction standards in accordance with their historical and architectural requirements.
“I think it helps us remember where we’ve been as a community and understand that journey that we’ve taken as a community,” MSU architecture professor John Poros said. “By doing this kind of historic renovation, it helps us to keep landmarks that are important to people’s memories of Columbus. So we’re helping to make sure that sort of the character of downtown Columbus, that we have a representation from this period of time in downtown Columbus.”
“For me, it’s because it’s my neighborhood,” Velek commented. “It’s where I live. I live around the corner. My company’s largest investment is around the corner. . . Ultimately, renovation and developments of downtown properties in a city like Columbus is going to come by local people. The city, city council, everybody has to support those local people who do it because there’s no big box retailer coming in to fix one of these properties. . . Local people will have to step up and do this kind of thing or it’s not going to get done.”
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