The Latest News On Businesses New and Old…And New Again!
COLUMBUS/STARKVILLE – Courtesy of The Dispatch
Old 82 Restaurant in downtown Columbus has announced that they are planning to reopen as Old 82 Restaurant and Steakhouse. They will be located at the prior location of the Front Door/Back Door restaurant, located at Catfish Alley & Main Street. Permits allowing, they hope to be open early next week.
Planet Fitness has opened a new location in Leigh Mall.
In Starkville, BlackFish Exotics (formerly Starkville Pet Store) is in the process of revamping in order to cater more to tropical pet fans, including tropical fish and reptiles, among others. Chris Rego, the new owner, said, “Really our only ‘rival’ is in Tupelo . . . We want to be the best we can be in our market.”
Walmart Neighborhood Market has now opened a new location in Starkville, bringing a hundred jobs to the area.
In sadder news, Starkville’s On Fleek Eyebrow Threading will only take clients on an appointment basis. The sister-store, Tiara Eyebrow Threading was located in Leigh Mall in Columbus, and is closed until further notice. To make an appointment at the Starkville location, call 662-213-1037.
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Plans for Downtown Hotel Renovation Await Only Regulatory Approval
COLUMBUS – Courtesy of The Dispatch
Former New Stone Hotel – Dispatch file photo
Plans for a complete renovation of the old New Stone Hotel and The Arcade Hotel building have been completed and submitted to the City for review and approval. The current owners, developers Tommy Howard and Chris Chain, purchased the century-old property in 2016 from Susan Mackay and her brother, Wayne Price. They plan to restore the now dilapidated building to its former glory as a mixed-use development. Chain said. “Once we get the building permit, we can move forward and start working on the rebuild.”
Columbus Building Official Ken Wiegel said the documents presented will be reviewed thoroughly before a building permit is granted. Now that the plans have been submitted, the city building department and fire department will review them, which generally takes up to 10 business days, unless concerns are raised during the review. Once this process is complete, a permit can soon be issued.
Chris Chain, left, and Tommy Howard
The two buildings were first constructed in 1905, and they have since hosted hotels, an auto parts store, a children’s clothing store, a print shop, and the first Party and Paper location. The structures had been in Mackay’s family until 2016.
Chain owns Renovations of Mississippi Inc., and Howard has restored downtown buildings, including 208 Fifth St. S., just down the street from the hotels.
Please click here to download/view a PDF file of the plans for the hotel.
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New Terry Brown Amphitheater Phase 1 Done, Usable for Free Events. Phase 2 Next Up
Columbus, MS – The Dispatch
The Terry Brown Amphitheater (Phase I) on the Westbank of the river
The new Terry Brown Amphitheater, located on the west bank of the river, as part of the Columbus Riverwalk, has completed Phase 1 of its construction, and they’re ready for Phase 2 to begin as soon as funding can be raised. The work thus far has cost about $3 million, and another $2.5 million or so is being called for in order to finish everything up.
City Engineer Kevin Stafford said that going over the usual list of making sure every little thing works properly is all that needs to be done before formally turning over the keys to the City itself: “We’ll be testing all the systems next week to make sure everything’s ready to go,” Stafford said. “What you have is basically the same thing as across the river (an existing outdoor stage under the Old Highway 82 bridge with grass seating). It’s just bigger, less likely to flood and is fully ADA accessible.”
Once these tests and inspections are all done, the amphitheater facility will be usable for free events; once everything else is done (such as fencing, ticketing, permanent restrooms, etc), it will be usable for private and paid events, as well. Stafford says that, once funding is secured, “I would estimate it would take about nine months, start to finish.” All of the physical infrastructure and groundwork is in place already.
“It’s a great facility,” said Barbara Bigelow, director of Main Street Columbus. “At this point, I haven’t discussed how we might use it. Sounds of Summer could certainly be held there, but people love where it is now, so I’m not sure my board would want to move. But I do think there is a lot of potential for the new facility. It’s another attraction for our downtown and we’re excited to see what happens there.”
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Inventive MSU Students Turning Golf Carts into Gold
STARKVILLE, MS – Starkville Daily News
CFO Cameron Maddox, 19, left, and COO James Moore, 19, of Cowbell Carts (Photo by Logan Kirkland, SDN)
MSU students Sophomores James Moore and Cameron Maddox are launching Starkville’s first micro-transportation system, called “Cowbell Carts.” Each of their two carts (at the moment) can seat six passengers comfortably, and the young men plan to use them to help people travel safely during busy times hours, e.g. acting as designated drivers, shuttling people to big games from distant parking lots, etc. Their initial coverage area will include primarily MSU’s campus, the Cotton District, and Main Street. The cost for a ride for a group of people from Main Street to the dorms will be about $8 total.
“I think we are really going to provide a service that not only makes everyone safer, but it’s going to be really fun and entertaining,” Moore said. He went on to say that their company was inspired by the observation that college towns, such as Starkville, tend to have a vibrant night life; thus, the decision was made to offer a low-cost, safe way to get people where they’re going while they’re out on the town.
While not everyone has been as enthusiastic about the prospects for such a business, their professors and the college have given them valuable criticism and supported their idea: “We try to take the criticism as constructive,” Moore said. “I’ve been relying heavily on people that have much more experience than I do.”
While they plan to keep it a 2-man operation at first, in order to test the waters, they plan to expand once football season begins. They know that the road ahead is uncertain – as they need to balance their new jobs with their scholastix endeavors – but they are confident that they can pull this off, and they are willing to work hard in order that they succeed on both fronts: “When you’re thinking of the idea, let your head go to the clouds,” Maddox said. “But when it comes down to actually making the business, you’ve got to be on the ground.”
Cowbell Carts is projected to have a ribbon cutting ceremony sometime between Aug. 7 and Aug 11. The company will begin immediately when school starts back for Mississippi State students this fall.
“I’m obviously incredibly excited for this to be here, not just because it’s my business but it’s something that Starkville doesn’t have and Starkville needs,” Moore said. “I think Starkville and the campus is going to see a lot of good come out of this.”
Business hours will be every Thursday through Saturday from 6 P.M. to 2 A.M.
New Businesses Coming to Columbus, New Hope, Starkville
Courtesy of THE DISPATCH
Caleb Sherman of The Dispatch
New businesses are in the process of opening up shop for the convenience of customers!
In Columbus, Bargain Hunt is moving into the old Southern Family location next to K-Mart on 45
In New Hope, Starkville’s Smartphone Doctor will be adding a new location in the Lehmberg Crossing shopping center on Alabama St.
Starkville’s Main Street will be getting “Pop Porium,” a gourmet popcorn, sno-ball, and soda fountain featuring homemade syrup flavors. They hope to have a hundred varieties of popcorn available for sale by the end of the year, based on customer feedback; they plan to open soon with fifty.
Read the full article here: http://www.cdispatch.com/news/article.asp?aid=56294
Old Train Depot Renovation Steams Ahead in Preparation for Shops and Apartments
Courtesy of The Dispatch
After two years of hard work, California developer/preservationist Gayle Guynup has completed external renovations to the old Train Depot on Main near the W, and will soon begun work on the inside of the dilapidated 130-year-old structure. She stated that, among other major fixes, a new roof was put on the building, along with removal of a secondary structure. Guynup’s intention is to have a few apartments on the upper level, and commercial space on the ground floor; she hopes to have most of it leased out and occupied within nine months. “We would have loved to have had a single tenant that could have taken over the whole property,” she said.
Columbus contractor Gene Reid walks in front of the old depot on Main Street in Columbus Thursday. Finished with exterior renovations, Reid is soon to begin building apartments on the second floor of the historic structure. Photo by: Luisa Porter/Dispatch Staff
Gene Reid Construction was responsible for the exterior fixes. “I think right now, we’re tentatively looking at four to five apartments, most likely four,” said Reid, adding once the permits are approved, the apartments should take six to nine months to complete. “What we’re probably going to do is build two small, efficiency-type apartments, plus two to three larger apartments.”
Please see the full article here: http://www.cdispatch.com/news/article.asp?aid=52147
Courtesy of the Greater Starkville Development Partnership
The Mississippi Main Street Association (MMSA) celebrated achievements of Mississippi Main Street Communities at the 27th Annual Awards Luncheon in downtown Jackson on Thursday, June 16. A number of Starkville’s finest were honored at the luncheon, including Brian Jones of Thomas Shelton Jones & Associates, Mark Castleberry of The Mill, and Starkville Main Street itself (for the third time).
“I am so proud of the great work that business leaders, business and property owners, and our own community development organization are doing to protect, preserve, and revitalize Downtown Starkville. Downtowns are the heart and soul of any great community, and that is no different in Starkville. The individuals and projects that were honored this year have greatly contributed to the quality of life in the Starkville community, and I’m so grateful for the honor and recognition that has been bestowed upon them each,” said Jennifer Gregory, GSDP CEO and Starkville Main Street Manager.
Award recipients at the 2016 MS Main Street Award event (courtesy photo)