WCBI did a nice piece on a recent visit by Grenada city leaders to Columbus. The downtown Columbus area grew by leaps and bounds in the mid 2000’s under the leadership of Jan Miller and Amber Brislin. Main Street Columbus has become the gold standard for the state, and now Director Barbara Bigelow is at the helm of the organization.
Bigelow had this to say:
Barbara Bigelow of Columbus Main Street (Image credit: The Commercial Dispatch)
“Very often we forget what a jewel we have here and we are reminded when other people want to come and mimic our downtown and our community and do what we’ve done to make our communities better.”
WCBI has more on the story. Read the full article at the link below:
Railways Keep Major Industry Chugging Along in the GTR
COLUMBUS, Miss. (Courtesy of WCBI) –
While some large businesses in the Golden Triangle have elected not to use rail to aid in transporting raw materials and finished goods, others, such as Weyerhauser and Yokohama, embrace it. Rail transport has been reported to be one of the major factors in granting a competitive advantage when it comes to landing large business contracts; it also provides an economical means of transport that is not dependent upon road or river conditions in order to function properly. Yokohama spent about $7 million to bring a railroad spur out to their West Point facility, where it is an indispensable part of their process.
For more information, please click the link below:
Hardee’s on 45 Gets a Great New Look Inspired by Columbus Itself
The Hardee’s on Hwy 45 recently held their Grand Re-opening, showcasing their newly-expanded and renovated dining room. The Columbus Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting to celebrate the event, which marked the culmination of a several-months-long expansion and complete remodeling of the dining area, which was extended by about ten feet. The interior was completely redesigned, and now includes a curvy seating section with large circular booths for families or other large groups; the addition of new tables in order to handle more customers at a time; and a raised “bar” section with stools, wi-fi, and outlets for laptops/chargers. Long-time patrons of the store will be glad to know that the restrooms have been totally redone, as well, and moved inside the actual main building. Imagery meant to evoke the city of Columbus itself – including a prominent mural representing The W– serves a distinctive feature of the venue.
I’d like to applaud the ownership group for their investment in improving and completely remodeling their property – it helps our community, and our tax base. As with a many other businesses featured on this blog, the ownership is all local. Their food in general – and especially their fresh-made, hot breakfast biscuits, have been a hit with locals for many years, now, as has their friendly, smiling staff. Come on out and give them a try sometime!
Image courtesy of www.hardees.com
The Golden Triangle of Mississippi (Columbus, Starkville, West Point) is fortunate to be the home of East Mississippi Community College (EMCC), part of the nation’s best community college system. EMCC has , over the last ten years, intentionally positioned itself as the main training ground for industry in the region. With over 4 billion dollars of new industrial development in our area in the last 12 years, the school saw the need for workforce training and jumped in to action. EMCC now trains hundreds of students for the bevy of new jobs at local factories, many earning in excess of $30,000 w/benefits in the first year on the job.
EMCC is more than good for business, they are a huge part of why the big businesses come to town in the first place. Ready, willing, and trained workers are a priority for major companies looking to build a new facility.
COLUMBUS, Miss. (WTVA) —
– See more at: http://www.wtva.com/news/Mississippi_takes_the_spotlight.html#sthash.I8PZZqcF.dpuf
Starkville School Shuffle Could Impact Real Estate
For the second time in just two short years, parents of students in the recently-consolidated Starkville Oktibbeha County Consolidated School District may find their children in a new school. I’m not here to opine about the causes of the issues that the schools and government leadership in Oktibbeha have on their hands, but the effect it could have on home prices.
Starkville is keeping pace with major market trends nationwide, with many homes selling at peak prices, and in a very short time. The recent school moves in 2014-15 saw many homeowners selling their properties to move up or over in order to insure that their child was in what they consider a top school district. As price trends continue to rise in the area, fueled by the continued growth of the university, many parents with children in public schools find themselves unable to afford homes in the realigned districts – or even unable to find a home for sale. Now, the changes to the school districts appear to be forcing a few families to switch around again.
Oktibbeha County and Starkville are in a difficult spot, especially with the Justice Department’s involvement. Let’s hope they can keep the changes to a minimum.
(Courtesy of WCBI) –
Some students and schools would be realigned in order to comply with federal guidelines on racial balance within the new district … The proposal would move all K – 5 students at East Elementary School into existing elementary schools of the district. The plan moves rising fifth graders to Overstreet and rising second graders to Ward Stewart. The plan, which would go into effect in August, does not include changes at West Elementary School.
The board will have a special called meeting on February 23rd. There are also several sessions for employees, parents and stakeholders. The first is Thursday night at East Elementary at 5:30pm.
Mississippian Appointed Chairman of UPS
UPS CEO David Abney.Photo credit: UPS/courtesy image
Mississippi’s own David Abney, who was born in Greenwood, worked his way to the top of international shipping giant UPS over the course of a long career, starting in 1974 in his hometown of Greenwood. Abney was recently elected as Chairman of the company by a unanimous vote of the Board of Directors. He also served as COO since 2007, CEO since 2014, and former President of UPS International. He is also a Trustee of The UPS Foundation, and Chairman of the World Affairs Council of Atlanta.
How does it help to have a local in that position? Abney will have first-hand knowledge of the ample warehouse facilities and inter-modal options in our great state (many of which are located in the Starkville-Columbus area). It’s not that he can necessarily influence business our way, but he will be a powerful voice in the company who can help get Mississippi to the table to compete. Any person of influence from the state helps – even in the smallest of ways. It might only be a small chance that he remembers a friend of a friend who told him about an affordable building for lease in rural Lowndes County…but, his small decisions at UPS have a lot of zeros behind them.
It is ALWAYS good for business to have friends in high places!
Some info courtesy of UPS Pressroom. Please click here for more information.
Oby’s In Starkville Finishes “Best in State” for Sandwiches, Columbus’ United Deli Near Top
Oby’s Mufellata. Pic credit: Joe R. Bumgardner of eatjackson.com
Best of the best??? The writers at the quirky site “only-in-your-state.com” picked Oby’s as the best sammich shop in Mississippi this past week. As a New Orleans native, I’ve been a big (in the waist) fan of the Cajun eatery for years now. Their hot roast beef, oyster po-boys and gumbo are hard to beat! Another favorite place to chow-down, United Deli in East Columbus, also topped the list. I’m so happy for my main man Mr. John. His Gyros and French Dips are second to none, and I think his french bread is the best you’re gonna find outside of Louisiana.
So proud for both of our local spots – any attention is good attention…and definitely good for business!!
Actor Morgan Freeman (stock photo)
Mr. Freeman and Mrs. America Tour North Mississippi
The current reigning Mrs. America, Madeline Gwin, and legendary actor Morgan Freeman made appearances in Mississippi this last week. Freeman stopped in Tupelo to accept an honor from the Boy Scouts, and Mrs. America toured several schools in West Point. What does this have to do with business, you may ask? You see, it always good to get attention- especially positive attention.
Mississippi seems to have a certain knack for showing up on the national news for bad news. Failing education, comical political moves and national disasters are our specialties. But, to have an award-winning actor and a beauty queen swing by, it helps to show we aren’t just a wasteland of a society. Especially in the case of Freeman, most of the moves he makes are taken in a positive light.
Mrs America 2015, Madeline Gwin (stock photo)
And that light shines on our state.
Click the links below for more information:
American Futures: Manufacturing Returns to Columbus, Mississippi
The Golden Triangle Development LINK is such a vital organization to our area. The premier economic development agency in the South, the LINK has brought nearly 5 billion dollars in business to the Golden Triangle in just over ten years. When big business does good, so does small business. Columbus, Starkville and West Point are lucky to have the best team in Mississippi working for us. Companies such as Steel Dynamics credit the GTR LINK with facilitating the complex process of incorporating in the area and running a business here. Locals who have found work at these newly-arrived major companies thank area schools such as EMCC for providing them with the skills needed to succeed and thrive there.
American Futures brings us a documentary about the rebirth of Columbus
Here’s a piece the Atlantic did on the LINK recently, including a mini-documentary about the amazing revitalization of Columbus as a manufacturing nexus in the South:
Parks Key To Quality Of Life In Golden Triangle
Beautiful Probst Park in Columbus, MS gives us all room for play, sports, athletics, parties, and even just hanging around and enjoying the breeze. (click for full size)
In my travels as a real estate agent, I have seen the enormous impact that playgrounds and parks play in the market. Often overlooked by taxpayers, a strong parks and recreation system is a top item on checklists of potential buyers when moving into a market. In our region (and quite possibly the entire state of Mississippi), Columbus currently boasts the premier soccer complex, which has hosted several state-wide events. It has an ideal setting, nestled between historic downtown Columbus and the Riverwalk.
Starkville has a top-notch sportsplex in the center of town, but has recently began a movement to build a best-in-class facility, in order to attract more attention and tourists to the town. Mississippi State University already lends a hand hosting major events, and an additional complex outside of the school should prove to be valuable as the area continues to grow.
Nice, clean parks and facilities help potential buyers open their minds’ eye to imagine living in a community – playing, riding and enjoying a picnic. Parks also often provide a buffer between urban and rural areas of Columbus and Starkville, and provide a great public service to our residents – as well as to potential citizens. They help to make a brand-new city feel more like “home.”
WCBI has more on our growing park system :
“Our citizens, citizens everywhere pretty much have an expectation of having quality play spaces, parks that are accessible and facilities that offer not only enjoyment but opportunities to help themselves to personal health and wellness,” Starkville mayor Parker Wiseman said.