Category Archives: Columbus

Two Columbus Businesses are Up for Sale

Two Columbus Businesses are Up for Sale

COLUMBUS – Courtesy of The Dispatch

Barbara Swindol (Elbow Room) and Scott Carley (Thai by Thai)

Called The Historic Landmark when it was first opened, The Elbow Room restaurant and bar on 2nd Ave North in downtown Columbus had been enjoying a revitalization ever since Barbara Swindol reopened it in 2013. She had been working hard for many years to bring the place back to its former glory, and the hard work showed. Unfortunately, the venue is closed for the moment, as she looks for a buyer. Her adult son, Rob (who also worked there), was recently diagnosed with Leukemia, so Swindol has decided to focus on helping her family, so she has had to put the Elbow Room up for sale.

“I had no intentions of ever selling that bar,” Swindol said. “Rob put himself into that bar for a long time and just did a great job turning that around.”

She plans to have it formally listed the location for sale in the next few days, and things are looking up! She has already garnered interest from some buyers simply due to word of mouth. The venue will be sold as a “turn-key” operation – the buyer will take it over from where it stands now.

“We watched some amazing (musical) talent grow in that bar,” Swindol said. “I’m very sad to be walking away from it, but it really deserves someone who can make it their priority. My son’s my priority right now.”

Thai by Thai, a Main Street restaurant, is also up for sale, per owner Scott Carley.  He and his wife, Gon, had originally opened the place onWIlkins Wise Road about six years ago, and moved it to its current location near the art gallery in 2014. Carley cites lack of business as the primary motivating factor in his decision to sell. TBT will remain open for now, possibly with some menu changes.

“We’re going to try to add some things for people that are skittish of the food,” he said. “But Thai food is 100 percent healthy and made from scratch.”

The current plan is to sell the restaurant along with all of its recipes and equipment.

Barbara Bigelow, executive director for Main Street Columbus, reflected on the importance of restaurants to Main Street and Downtown in general: “We would love more restaurants in our area. We hate to have any that are considering leaving for any reason,” she said. “We certainly value our restaurants and would love to have more in downtown Columbus. The ones that we have now provide great variety to our community.”

It’s not bad news when good businesses go up for sale. These two vibrant operations are going to be a great opportunity for a willing entrepreneur…And THAT’S Good for Business! Here’s hoping for success too both sellers that they find a new buyer soon, so that these two great restaurants can keep up the good work with help from our community. With luck, the new owners will help both places reach great new heights in the future! Best wishes to both the current and future owners of both businesses in all  that they do!

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New Phase of Lowndes County Horse Park Has Begun

New Phase of Lowndes County Horse Park Has Begun

COLUMBUS – Courtesy of The Dispatch

Lowndes County Board of Supervisors President Harry Sanders

“I got to thinking about how children in high school don’t enter these anymore, which is why we’re building (the park),” Lowndes County BOS President Harry Sanders recently remarked.  “Maybe we can get kids interested again in things we used to do when we were kids.”

He was speaking of the Lowndes County Horse Park which is situated on a 22-acre site west of Columbus, just off of Hwy 82 on Tom Rose Road. Sanders hopes it will become the perfect venue in Lowndes County to hold horse shows, livestock shows, county fairs, and other outdoor and agricultural activities. The site currently Lowndes County Extension Service office on 485 Tom Rose Road. Extension Agent Reid Nevins said the location has helped the department grow significantly within the past year:  “(The building) has been a godsend,” Nevins said. “Since we moved in during April of last year, we have had over 5,000 people walk through those doors. … That’s not phone calls, that’s coming in the door and interacting and asking questions and participating.”

The next phase is the horse park — a planned 45,000 square-foot open-air arena, which is projected to be completed in 2019.  Construction is set to begin before October of this year.

At least at the beginning, “[this] will mainly be used for rodeo show horses … the EMCC rodeo team doesn’t have a place to host rodeos,” said Sanders. “They’ve agreed to host their rodeos at our arena. That’s going to draw in a lot of tourist dollars. … It’s going to get used.”

“The sky’s the limit, let’s just put it that way,” Nevins said.

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MS SoS Sees Educated Workforce as Vital for State’s Future

MS SoS Sees Educated Workforce as Vital for State’s Future

STARKVILLE – Courtesy of the Dispatch

Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann speaks to Rotary Club members at the Starkville Country Club Monday – Photo by Luisa Porter, Dispatch Staff

Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann spoke to the Starkville Rotary Club on Monday, emphasizing the importance of education in order to help further improve the state’s future workforce. He noted that this need not always mean a four-year college degree, and that proper training via career tech centers can be just as valuable for students who are willing to undertake whatever training suits them:”Taking that silo, where we have a university, junior college, a high school, all of that needs to be towards one goal and that one goal would be to have an educated workforce,” he said. “And about 60-70 percent of that educated workforce will not have a college degree. That’s critical — I want you to have that college degree if that’s what you want to do. If you want to work with your hands and be a plumber, you can come to Jackson in the winter and make a million dollars.”

Hosemann said that it is vital to expose students to as many different career path options as early as is practical in their education, to get youths interested in learning about career paths that suit their own interests and talents. He also noted that, while our Unemployment level is low at the moment, that number only includes adults who are actively looking for work, and have been doing so only up to a certain amount of time: “The most significant number that we have in Mississippi is not what our percentage unemployment is,” he said. “It is workforce participation. We are at 55 percent between 18 and 64 (years old). That number is one of the lowest in the country. . .If there were 65 percent working, we could build bridges everywhere,” he went on to say. “We could have schools everywhere. We’d have plenty of money to go around. We’d have another 100,000 or 200,000 people working in Mississippi.”

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Steel Dynamics to Increase Steel Production at Columbus Location

Steel Dynamics to Increase Steel Production at Columbus Location

 

 

COLUMBUS, MS – Courtesy of WTVA

The GTR LINK recently announced Steel Dynamics’ plans to invest $200 million into its flat roll steel plant here in Columbus. They anticipate that the expansion will add as many as 45 jobs to the plant over the next three years as the changes are phased in.

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Ryan’s Buffet Shutters its Doors

COLUMBUS – Courtesy of The Dispatch

Ryan’s closed earlier this month, and the property is for sale for $900,000. Photo by: Luisa Porter/Dispatch Staff

Another of Columbus’ eateries has shut its doors. Ryan’s Buffet on Hwy 45 recently closed down, leaving a note on the door to inform visitors. While the future of the establishment has been up in the air for some time now, it’s official: Escondido, California’s Realty Income Corp. is under contract to purchase the property.

Royce Hudspeth, the listing agent for the property, said, “We never stopped marketing the property . . . We have received two letters of intent from prospective buyers and are currently negotiating with one of those buyers. We will see if a deal can be done.”

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CRA Says They Have Faith in Former Lee Middle Development Project

CRA Says They Have Faith in Former Lee Middle Development Project

COLUMBUS – Courtesy of The Dispatch

Ward 6 Councilman Bill Gavin (courtesy photo)

The Columbus Redevelopment Authority is banking on tax incentives and the reputation of the development group (Military Lee, L.L.C.) to ensure that the plans for the pending sale of Lee Middle School property come to fruition as promised. “You’d be a fool to buy all that land, and not do anything with it,” said Jeff Turnage, attorney for both the city and CRA

CRA announced Saturday that Military Lee had agreed to purchase the former Lee Middle School Property — approx. 15 acres — for $450,000. The Columbus Municipal School District owns the property, and its board of trustees must first approve a $1 sale of the property to CRA before the authority can execute the sale to the developer.

“I know they’re very serious,” Ward 6 Councilman Bill Gavin said. “They do have a history of a development in Jackson that turned out real well.”

Military Lee, which did not yet have a formal name at at that time, threw their hat into the ring with plans to turn the site into a mixed-use development of residential and commercial entities, while preserving as much of the original structures as possible.

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New Cajun Fusion Eatery to Open Soon on Hwy 45

New Cajun Fusion Eatery to Open Soon on Hwy 45

COLUMBUS – Courtesy of The Dispatch

Breaux Bridge, a new restaurant named after the crawfish capital of the world, will be opening soon in Columbus in the old Chili’s location on Highway 45. Photo by: Mary Pollitz/Dispatch Staff

NeonFROG marketing agent Karen Stanley has announced that the owners of Breaux Bridge – a new restaurant that has taken over the old Chili’s location on Hwy 45 – is slated to open for business by late Summer. The venue is named after the Louisiana town dubbed “The Crawfish Capital of the World” by the Louisiana Legislature in 1959. The menu will be a fusion of Cajun and Asian cuisine, including dishes such as gumbo, po’boys, crawfish fried rice, and much, much more.

The interior of the building is ready to roll, so they’re finishing up the final details. The outside signage just went up on Tuesday. “We’ve worked with local artists and artists down in the New Orleans area,” Stanley said. “There are a lot of bright colors. It has very much an eclectic, Cajun feel. . .”The inside is fully set. It’s just getting the fine details together. . .When we open the doors, we want to have everything as perfect as possible.”

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New Tariffs May Pose Problem for Steel Dynamics

New Tariffs May Pose Problem for Steel Dynamics

COLUMBUS — Courtesy of The Dispatch

The Trump Administration recently announced that its 25% tariffs on steel – which had exempted the EU, Canada, and Mexico – will now be imposed unilaterally, triggering Mexico to retaliate in kind. Some are concerned that this could be bad news for Golden Triangle businesses, such as Steel Dynamics.

Mark Millet, CEO of SDI

During a January 2018 conference call, SDI President and CEO Mark Millett pointed out the Columbus flat-roll steel plant’s stellar role in boosting the company’s profits to record highs: “We, I think, shipped about 220,000 tons of automotive (steel) from Columbus just last year, which is a massive increase,” Millett told investors. “And we’re on platforms to increase that to about 400,000 tons over the next 18 months …We continue to gain market share, especially at the Columbus flat roll division with our focus on automotive direct sales. We also benefit there from a cost effective access into Mexico.”

Much of the local plant’s steel is exported to Mexican auto manufacturing plants. They imported roughly 3.7 metric tons of flat roll steel, according to the International Trade Assn.; this number made up about 2/3 of Mexico’s total steel imports that year.

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Orthodox Christians Now Have a Dedicated Place of Worship in Columbus

Orthodox Christians Now Have a Dedicated Place of Worship in Columbus

COLUMBUS – Courtesy of The Dispatch

Jason and Kelsey Bigelow are among a small, but  growing number of Orthodox Christians in the area who have long been seeking a permanent place of worship, rather than driving as far as Tupelo irregularly in order to have access to the services they want. They recently found that their numbers had grown large enough to found a local mission, and that a former Christian Science worship center was available for purchase – so they and their congregation did so. They now meet at the church on 4th Avenue North, which they have been extensively renovating. They are considered a Mission for now, as they are still working on the funding required to maintain a full-time priest, rather than having one come in once every 3-4 weeks, and having congregants preach in the meantime. They intend to begin holding formal worship services in July; they expect to begin with about thirty congregants.

“It’s a small world of Orthodox Christians in Mississippi,” said Columbus physician William Rosenblatt who bought the building along with Jason earlier this month. “Everyone kind of knows everyone. (When we) moved here, we knew … the Bigelows were in town. (We) put our heads together and said, ‘Look, we’ve got to do something. We can’t keep driving an hour and 45 minutes to church every Sunday.’ They had been looking at area buildings, just kind of thinking into the future, and we found this one, started getting the ball rolling.”

William Rosenblatt of Columbus does yard work outside the new Orthodox Church on Fourth Avenue North – credit – Isabelle Altman.jpg

“The first time you walk into an Orthodox Church that’s all set up, not like this,” Kelsey said, gesturing to the construction around her, “(but) with the candles and iconography and the singing, it’s overwhelming. If you have studied art and history, even if you don’t know anything about the Orthodox Church firsthand when you come in, you instantly see the beauty of the worship.”

“The building is sort of in the classic church configuration, a Latin cross plan,” Jason said. “So that’s what we would have built if we had built this from scratch.”

“Most people aren’t as fortunate,” Rosenblatt said. “They’re in a store front for a long time or something much less formal.”

“When you drive your kids an hour every other Sunday to go to church, and you can’t stay late for coffee hour because you’ve got to get back and do stuff or you can’t be there on Wednesday night and you can’t fully raise them in the church — to have a church that I can walk to is absolutely a miracle to me,” she said.  “It’s like having your grandma next door,” she added. “That’s the only thing I can liken it to. It’s like having your community, the things that matter to you (and are) close to you, within reach.”

“Everybody’s welcome,” Jason said. “It’s not just Orthodox — which we think there’s other area Orthodox. But this church is for everybody. … Everybody’s welcome that wants to learn about Jesus.”

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USA Today Honors Columbus

COLUMBUS – Courtesy of the Columbus Visitors’ Bureau

Please join with all of us at GFB to congratulate everyone who gives their all to make our town a better place!

PRESS RELEASE

Columbus, MS has been voted No. 6 in the Best Small Town Cultural Scene category of USA TODAY’s latest 10Best Readers’ Choice travel award contest!

“Visit Columbus is honored to win a coveted spot on this list, and is grateful for the many voters who helped our city win this distinguished award” said Nancy Carpenter, CEO of Visit Columbus.

Columbus, MS has been voted No. 6 in the Best Small Town Cultural Scene category of USA TODAY’s latest 10Best Readers'…

Posted by Visit Columbus on Friday, May 18, 2018

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