Will Kline, project manager for The Retail Coach of Tupelo, reports that a number of developers have expressed buying Leigh Mall. Kline’s firm has a contract with the city to assist with retail development.
The mall will be going up for auction Tuesday evening, along with a number of other properties owned by Security National Properties; the interested developers may have to wait for the results of that auction before they can proceed.
While new ownership may not have an immediate effect on the mall, Kline said, “Ideally … a new owner comes to the table and breathes new life into the mall.” Many of the mall’s tenants have been lost in the past two years alone, including such stores as JCPenney, Sears, Payless, and Kirkland’s.
Joe Max Higgins, CEO for the Golden Triangle Development LINK, has stated in the past that there has been interest in purchasing and revitalization of the mall for some time.
The mall property’s assessed value is $12.1 million, according to the Lowndes County Tax Assessor’s Office.
As Lowndes County’s somewhat controversial 30-year-old restaurant sales tax expired back in June, a replacement tax has been proposed which seems to have near-universal support in the Legislature. Should it be approved, this previously-expired tax will bring back the 2% restaurant tax for the area. Note that this would only affect Columbus eateries whose total food & beverage sales exceed $100 thousand per year.
$400K of the expected revenue has been earmarked for the City, another $300K has been reserved for the County for use in “tourism, special events, recreation and entertainment,” and a further $250K for the GTR LINK’s economic development services. The remainder will go to the CVB.
“When it gets down here, it may very well have a direct referendum added (which would require a citizen vote before the tax could be enacted),” said Rep. Gary Chism (R-Lowndes County), who serves on the House Local and Private Committee that handles such sales tax legislation. “This is the way I drafted the bill because that is what the city and county wanted (in their resolutions), and I support it.”
Mayor Robert Smith reports that the City intends to use its share of the projected revenues to help pay for an estimated $1.6 million in ball field improvements at Propst Park, as well as building the second phase of the Sen. Terry Brown Amphitheater at The Island.
Supervisors’ President Harry Sanders stated that the County is considering using its share to make a “regional” sports complex.
Pizza and buffet chain Godfather’s Pizza is opening a local store in Midtown at 301 University Drive, Suite 2. They plan to open their doors sometime this spring. The chain has been in business since 1978, and currently has more than 600 locations in 40 states. More options for tasty food in this burgeoning town are always good to have!
Starkville’s Cadence Bank main branch building, located at 301 E. Main St., is back on the market. The Board of Aldermen considered buying the property in 2014, but the project was eventually voted down. The 30 thousand sq ft building is currently listed at $2.5 million.
Ceco Building Systems, which makes materials needs to construct pre-fab homes, will be moving to a new location a few blocks down Hwy 45 N, according to Human Resources Director Tim Lamm.
Nails and Spa, located at 1726 Hwy 45, has put up an “opening soon” sign, but no date has yet been announced. The nail salon will be open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
K-Mart has officially closed its doors here as of late November. Future plans for the retail space, if any, have not yet been announced.
Penny Ridge Grocery, located at 2003 Ridge Road between Caledonia and Columbus, is on the market. Owners Deanna Jordan and John Wooten have said that they are in the process of finding a buyer, but that they would close for business by the end of the week.
Many local stores have been doing gangbusters as the holiday season roars into full swing, thanks to the special services they provide and the superior customer service they offer – And THAT’S Good for Business!
Sarah Barefield, manager at The Purple Elephant on Wilkins Wise Road in COlumbus, reports that their customers come for the great pottery items from Mississippi crafters, and leave delighted by the staff’s impressive skill at gift-wrapping.
“We do a great job gift wrapping,” Barefield said. “A lot of people come and shop just for our gift-wrapping. We also just try to be as nice as possible. . . It was just better this year. We were very happy with the customers that came in, and if it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t be here.”
Gloria Herriott, owner of Hollyhocks in Downtown Columbus, credits the strong economy: “Small businesses know when it’s real. We’re off to a really good Christmas season. People have more money to spend and they feel comfortable spending it.”
Main Street Director Barbara Bigelow had this to say: “I’ve had great responses from our merchants from both days — Black Friday and Shop Small Saturday . . . We certainly appreciate people supporting them. It’s so good for our economy. Everything we spend with our local merchants, of course, stays in our community and it feeds our economy. That’s always good for the community. It’s just important to keep your money local.”
In Starkville, George Sherman’s clothing store on Russell Street did well, despite the Egg Bowl being in Oxford this year. His Black Friday sales were such a success that he will be extending them through the end of the month of Novermber.
“We specialize in service. We really talk to our customers and find out what their needs are and meet those needs,” Sherman said. “We were pleasantly surprised. . . Shop local, because those dollars turn back to the community.”
The Lodge, an apparel store, fell a bit short of expectations, but they still did quite well for themselves. Owner John Hendricks said, “You just can’t beat that football traffic.” he went on to say that customers still poured in to purchase Egg Bowl victory t-shirts and cowbells for the holiday season.
“We’re very excited about the holiday season,” Hendricks said. “We always hope (people) shop locally because it affects local people.”
GOLDEN TRIANGLE REGION, MS – Courtesy of the Dispatch
Hungry for some fresh, piping hot cinnamon buns? Then head on over to Big Buns and More, a cinnamon roll bakery at 332 Hwy 12 W in Starkville. The bakery just held a Grand Opening lately, and is already bringing in rave reviews from locals. Hours: Tue~Thu 7:30am – 5:30pm, Fri 7:30am – 10pm, Sat 8 – 4.
Once you’ve had your fill, work off some of those delicious calories at Orange Theory Fitness. The new gym had its own Grand Opening recently; they’re located at 401 University Dr, and they offer one-hour fitness classes every day from 5 a.m.-6:45 p.m. Better yet, your first class is free to new members!
Head Over Heels clothing shop and boutique’s newest location at 450 Hwy 12, Ste B, has just opened for business. They’re open Mon~Sat from 11 to 6.
The Flower Company plans to open up shop at its new, bigger location at 401 E Lampkin St in the next few days. They plan to be open from 9 to 5 Mon~Fri, and Sat from 9 to 1, starting this Monday.
423 Main St now plays host to Faith Salon and Faith Fabulous Boutique! They are in business and ready to go; they currently offer mainly women’s clothes and services, but they will be adding both men’s clothing and new employees soon! Open Tues~Sat from 9 to 6.
Party and Paper has closed its doors, but owner Susan Mackay will hold the Grand Opening of her new shop, Impressions by Susan this evening (Thursday, Nov 1) from 4 to 7 pm. It is located at 424 Main St. The shop will be open for business Tues~Fri from 10 to 5.
The former location of Front Door/Back Door and Old 82 Restaurant at the corner or Catfish Alley and Main St is up for sale.
Andy Johnson, CEO of Bank of Vernon, has announced that they plan to open a new branch – only their second outside of Vernon – on Bluecutt and Chubby Drive in Columbus. No date has been set, however. The bank first opened in Vernon, Alabama in 1911 and made it through the Great Depression. In 2017, it opened up in Caledonia, which is currently its only other branch outside Vernon.
Aaron’s on 45, a rent-to-own place, has moved its inventory over to its Starkville location at 424 Hwy 12 W and shuttered its local building.
The Uniform Center has opened for business at 443 Wilkins Wise Road in Columbus. New owners Leroy and Pam Lacy moved the business from Highway 45.
Belk on Hwy 45 N just recently held its Grand Re-opening this past Wednesday after extensive renovations. They are listed as #14 out of their 150 division stores.
Hoover’s Bakery in West Point has re-opened its doors! They will open at 5 AM Tuesdays through Fridays, closing not long after lunchtime. So, bring your appetite and be sure to wake up bright and early!
The Columbus-Lowndes CVB Tourism Partners recently gave a preview of the (still under construction) Terry Brown Ampitheater to a number of its members. Pjase I of the construction was completed in 2007, but Phase II is still pending funding to the tune of $2.5 million needed to complete the project. It is hoped that it will be ready to rock by early to mid 2020.
City engineer Kevin Stafford provides details of the plans for the Terry Brown Amphitheater during a tour of the facility Tuesday morning. City officials hope the venue will be ready to for its first event in spring 2020 as they await $2.5 million in funding needed to complete the project. Photo by: Slim Smith/Dispatch Staff
The venue is planned to have a seating capacity of roughly 3,500 including seating for 1,800 on a grassy area, according to city engineer Kevin Stafford: 1,100 hard-back seats plus a table-and-chairs area for VIP use and an open area nearest the stage that can be altered as needed for any given show.
Rep. Jeff Smith, the House Ways and Means Committee chairman, said that they hope to receive enough state bond money to complete the project in the upcoming year, but it’s uncertain whether enough will be incoming to meet the $2.5 million goal. Mayor Robert Smith suggested that a 2% county-wide restaurant tax could provide $2 million annually for tourism and economic development. Per an existing resolution, $400 thousand of that could be used each year for parks and recreation.
As part of the joint resolution between the county and the city that will be used to craft the legislation, $400,000 annually would be provided to the city for parks and recreation: “We are going to be talking to our local legislative delegation about both the bond money and the 2-percent money,” Smith said. “We know there is going to be some bond money to help complete (the amphitheater). We don’t know if we’ll get the $2.5 million we need, but if not, the plan is to use some of the 2-percent money, which would be more than enough to complete the project.”
Entrepreneur Susan Mackay made her first impact on Columbus’ printing scene more than three decades ago when she first opened the Kwik Kopy Printing Center. Having done well there, she went on to open Party and Paper five years later. After nearly thirty years in business, P&P is closing its doors this Friday, but all is not lost! Mackay is opening her new venue, Impressions by Susan, on November 1st in downtown Columbus. There will be a ribbon cutting at 4 PM, with a Grand Opening party immediately following, lasting until 7 PM. She will also be hosting an Open House for the new venue on Friday from 10-5 and then on Sunday from 1-5; door prizes and other giveaways will be had, so come by and show your support for a long-time business owner right here in town! Mackay hopes to continue to provide excellent service and amazing products to the community for many years to come, and that’s Good for Business!
Columbus Inn & Suites across from the Magnolia Bowl is up for sale to the right entrepreneur. The building, located at 506 Hwy 45 N, has 90 rooms, a fully-equipped restaurant, kitchen, pool and meeting areas. The asking price is $1.45 million.
Window World recently opened its doors at 134 Lincoln Road, next to Walmart, earlier this month. It is part of a 200-store chain that services both interior and exterior window needs of all kinds. They are open Monday through Friday 8 a.m.-5p.m and Saturdays from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Waldrop and Co. Real Estate has now moved in to the old Cross Golf Cart building at 5736 Hwy. 45 N.
Grassroots Natural Candle Company has come back, having moved across the street to 127 Fifth St. N. Offering a wide variety of fragrance products (not just great candles!), they are open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday from noon-5 p.m.
Twigs Nursery and Landscaping at 7653 Oktoc Road opened for business last week. MSU graduates Kody and Kandiace Brown offer a variety of plants, flowers, arrangements, seeds, pots, garden tools, Mississippi-made items, pottery and of course landscaping. It’s open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Wednesdays from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and Saturdays 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Columbus’ Mississippi Steel Processing has announced their majority acquisition by North Jackson, Ohio’s Liberty Steel Products Holding. MSP processes rolls of steel to the tune of 750 thousand tons annually; the company also runs and makes handcrafted steel and wooden furniture for their downtown shop, Steel Forest Furniture. Their president, Chip Gerber, made the announcement Wednesday night via press release: “We are excited for the future of MSP and our partnership with Liberty,” Gerber said. “The experience and reputation of Liberty in the industry is a welcome addition to our team at MSP.”
Susan McKay, the owner of Party and Paper, plans to open her new shop, Impressions by Susan, at 424 Main St by November. The new venue mainly offers event printing, personalized invitations, gift-wrapping, and the like. The store will be open from Tuesdays through Saturdays.
Kate Cryder will be opening an organic spray-tan business for those interested in safer methods of getting tanned in the next few weeks. Gypsy will be located at 109 5th St S, in the location formerly occupied by Fin’s Bobby Pin. She will be open from Tuesdays through Saturdays. Appointments can be scheduled online at tangyspy.co, and a personal consultation is included for each client.
Brickerton Day Spa now has new ownership: Amy and Matt Bogue will continue the spa as it is now, but they are looking to expand its services in the future, with medical treatments as the first thing on the list.
Starkville Nutrition, which offers healthy shakes and teas, has opened up at 500 Russel St, Ste 18. They had their grand opening in August, and will be open from Mondays through Saturdays.
Thrive Health, which used to be located on Hwy 12, has moved to the same building; their new address is 500 Russel St, Ste 29. They offer Chinese medicine, acupuncture, CBD oil, etc. They accept walk-ins from Mondays through Fridays.