Category Archives: Business

Construction on New Burger King Underway in Starkville

Courtesy of the Starkville Daily News – STARKVILLE, MS

 

Starkville will soon be getting another place to get some good grub. A new Burger King location has begun construction at 409 Highway 12 East, next to a local Hardee’s restaurant.

A new Burger King is under construction on Hwy 12 next to Hardee’s – Photo Credit – Mary Rumore, SDN

City of Starkville records state that the building is owned by Cambridge Franchise Holdings out of Bartlett, Tennessee. The contractor for the project is Venture Construction Company out of Franklin, TN. The project’s value is estimated at about $950,000.

Construction for the project began Jan. 8. No opening date has yet been announced.

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Slim Chickens Coming to Starkville

Director of Operations for Slim Chickens, David Bagwell said. “We have had college towns on the radar ever since we started this plan to develop into Mississippi,” Bagwell said. “The reason we are developing in Mississippi is because we’re Mississippi native folks and we love the brand and what the brand stands for and we felt like it would do really well here.”

They plan to make minimal changes to the building’s layout, leaving it as a “plain and simple” design. They anticipate whitewashed oak slats on the walls, with a white interior and an exposed ceiling: “It’s very open and airy feeling,” Bagwell said. “It’s just a nice easy going environment to enjoy.”

He went on to say that “We’re local people, we’re going to hire local people and try to affect a positive change in their life and our customer’s lives by being here each and every day providing that good hospitable service that people want.” Bagwell said. “That’s what we look to do when we go into a community.”

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SDI Gives Credit to Columbus Facility for Helping Them Achieve Banner Year

SDI Gives Credit to Columbus Facility for Helping Them Achieve Banner Year

COLUMBUS – Courtesy of The Dispatch

Mark Millet, CEO of SDI

SDI President and CEO Mark Millett recently reported that the company’s full-year net income had more than doubled from $446 million in 2016 to $803 million, while net sales increased from $7.8 billion to $9.5 billion in 2017. He singled out their Columbus facility as being a significant contributor to their improved bottom line.

“We continue to gain market share, especially at the Columbus flat roll division with our focus on automotive direct sales,” Millet said. “We, I think, shipped about 220,000 tons of automotive (steel) from Columbus just last year, which is a massive increase,” he added. “And we’re on platforms to increase that to about 400,000 tons over the next 18 months as new platforms come into play. Firstly, the capability of the mill down there and, then, we had a great team, I think is building confidence in the auto producers.”

“I think they’re doing a great job out there,” said Lowndes County Board of Supervisors President Harry Sanders. “I think that new paint line they added has helped them out. Anytime you can touch steel and add something without moving it, you add value, which I think is probably what has happened. . .My first impression of (SDI) when they came in was pure relief,” Sanders continued. “They were more accessible than the Russians had been and understood us better. I think a lot of their success has to do with the work ethic of the workforce we have here in the South. They appreciate their employees and take care of them.”

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The Latest News On Businesses New and Old…And New Again!

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

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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Toyota Picks EMCC as Regional Training College

Toyota Picks EMCC as Regional Training College

COLUMBUS – Courtesy of eastms.edu

The Toyota Motor Company has selected East Mississippi Community College as one of only twelve schools from across the nation to take part in a new pilot program: Students in the  Automotive Technology will be able to earn certification through the University of Toyota’s Toyota Technician Education Program. These certifications were previously available only to Toyota employees, and are mandatory for anyone who wishes to work for them as a mechanic. Five students have already been chosen to be the first at EMCC to take part in this program; there will be no additional cost to earn these certifications via the program, and it is intended to help the participants get good jobs with Toyota straight out of college.

“The certifications they earn through the University of Toyota will stay with them for life,” EMCC Automotive Technology instructor Dale Henry said. “Let’s say a student graduates and goes to work at an independent repair shop and five years from now a job opportunity comes up at Toyota. A record of the Toyota certifications the student has earned will pull up in their system . . . The certifications are good for employment at any Toyota dealer in the nation.”

“The continuing success of our Automotive Technology program is a testament to the quality of our instructors and their dedication to providing students the best education possible,” EMCC President Dr. Thomas Huebner said. “We are grateful to Gulf States Toyota for allowing us to participate in this pilot program and to our faculty who have made this possible through their efforts. The real winners are our students who will benefit from this partnership.”

 

 

 

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Back Yard Burgers is on its Way Back, Baby!

Back Yard Burgers is on its Way Back, Baby!

COLUMBUS – Some info courtesy of the Dispatch

City building official Ken Wiegel reports that Back Yard Burgers is planning to reopen its Columbus store just off of Hwy 45 in front of Wal-Mart. While the location shut down in October of 2016, there is currently no formal re-opening date announced. However, Wiegel says that inspections of the property have been conducted. The company has dozens of locations open in the US, mostly in Tennessee, Mississippi, and the Midwest.

Originally founded in Cleveland, MS in 1987, the Back Yard Burgers chain has seen its ups and downs. A deal with Yum! Brands, owners of Pepsi and Taco Bell, in 2002~2004 ultimately fell through. Since going public, the company has passed through multiple hands, and even entered Bankruptcy reorganization in 2012; however, they emerged from this temporary setback and kept on going, thanks in part to investors who believe in the brand and want to see it thrive.

To this day, the company uses only Black Angus Beef in its burgers, and offeres a wide variety of optional sides (including vegetarian choices) for its more selective customers. Their menu also includes salads, turkey and chicken sandwiches, chili, potato soup, shakes, desserts, and a number of french fry and baked potato dishes.

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Traditional Italian Restaurant “Gondolier” Coming to Starkville This Summer

Traditional Italian Restaurant “Gondolier” Coming to Starkville This Summer

Gondolier Italian Restaurant & Pizza has announced that it will be opening a new location next to The Mill, right in Downtown Starkville, and that it plans to do so in June or July of this year. The family-owned chain began in Cleveland, TN in 1974, and all of their food is made from fresh ingredients in-house; they currently have about thirty other locations. They specialize in traditional Italian and Greek foods, pizza, and desserts.

“They make everything in the restaurant – nothing is frozen,” Castleberry, the owner of the property where the restaurant will be located, said. “One of their specialties is lasagna and pasta. It’s a traditional Italian restaurant, and they serve pizza and calzones. They also make a great tiramisu.”

The building will also house a Mugshots location, as well as two floors of condominium space – four units per floor.

“They [Gondolier] are a very community-minded company,” he said. “They are going to be very active in the community, and well within our vision of The Mill and that area to have a lot of buzz to it and being a nice community congregating place. They are going to fit in well, and their meals are in a good price point.”

Please click here for the full article.

 

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Wicker: Air Force Awards $48M Contract to Develop Unmanned Aircraft in Columbus, Miss.

PRESS RELEASE

Courtesy of Roger Wicker, U. S. Senate, R-Mississippi

Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss) – Courtesy Photo

Wicker: Air Force Awards $48M Contract to Develop Unmanned Aircraft in Columbus, Miss.

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., a senior member of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, today congratulated Aurora Flight Sciences for winning a $48 million Air Force contract to continue development of Orion unmanned aircraft. These systems are built in Columbus, Miss. In 2014, Orion set the world record for unmanned aerial systems flight endurance by remaining aloft for 80 hours.

“I am pleased that the Air Force continues to have confidence in developing Aurora’s ultra-long endurance Orion military drone,” Wicker said. “Orion will provide vital information to military commanders and our troops once it is deployed. Congress should approve the proposed FY18 funding for these aircraft, so that an entire deployable system will be coming off the line in the next 18 months.”

 

Source: https://www.wicker.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2018/1/wicker-air-force-awards-48m-contract-to-develop-unmanned-aircraft-in-columbus-miss

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LCSD Officials Tour Nearly-Completed Tech Center

LCSD Officials Tour Nearly-Completed Tech Center

COLUMBUS – Courtesy of The Dispatch

From left, LCSD Superintendent Robin Ballard, assistant Superintendent Tina Younger, Superintendent Lynn Wright and Maintenance Director Greg Wheat tour the LCSD Technology Center on Lehmberg. Photo by Luisa Porter – Dispatch Staff

Several years after a narrow defeat on an (ultimately successful) bond issue, Lowndes County School District Superintendent Lynn Wright is now touring the fruits of that bond, a massive facility off of Lehmberg Road which will soon be accepting studentsfor its tech center and job training programs aimed at supplying a well-educated and well-prepared workforce for local industry. The Lowndes County Career and Technical Center is estimated to be about 55 thousand square feet in size, and it cost about $11 million to construct: The Lowndes County Career and Technical Center.

“I’d say it’s about 95 percent finished,” maintenance supervisor Greg Wheat said, as finishing touches were being applied by the workers. The facility is expected to open formally next August, and it is estimated that it will be able to comfrotably hold about 500 students. They are also in the process of acquiring the gear needed to fill the huge workrooms, and to hire faculty and staff. Nine separate fields of study — automotive service technician, construction core, teacher academy, health sciences, industrial maintenance, welding, polymer science, culinary arts and engineering/robotics — have their own dedicated spaces, and each has the room they will need to expand in the future.

Maintenance Director Greg Wheat checks out the kitchen of the new LCSD Career Technology Center – Photo by Louisa Porter – Dispatch Staff

“Right now, we have a little less than 100 students in our vocational programs at the three high schools,” Wright said. “Next fall, we expect to have 450 students enrolled in programs here. . .We’ve been working closely with Mississippi State on developing the polymer science program since it’s new for us,” he went on to say. “They are helping us find an instructor in addition to helping us put together the program. . .”We really see this as something the whole community can use. Programs like the (Greater Columbus) Learning Center are already showing interest. . .We’re not just talking about [interest from] the PACCARs and Steel Dynamics, but smaller industries, too,” he said. “We’ve really had interest from all over the county, from big and small.”

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