Category Archives: Starkville

MSU Obtains $7 Million Grant for Roadway Improvements

MSU Obtains $7 Million Grant for Roadway Improvements

STARKVILLE, MS – Courtesy of the Starkville Daily News

U.S. Senator Thad Cochran, R-Mississippi,recentlyannounced a $7 million federal transportation grant for Mississippi State University. The grant is intended to pay for development of a roughly two-mile multimodal corridor on Hightower Road, a portion of which is to be named “Bulldog Way.” The corridor will connect Blackjack Road to East Lee Boulevard.

“Mississippi State proposed this multimodal project to help alleviate gridlock and improve safety for students, faculty, visitors, and Starkville residents,” Cochran said.  “I’m pleased that the Department of Transportation will invest in this project, which will improve the overall quality of life for the Starkville and Oktibbeha County community.”

MSU spokesman Sid Salter stated that “[Recent] growth has put a tremendous strain on the existing transportation infra­structure, both on campus and in the community . . .The Hightower Road Corridor Project in concert with other planned improvements seeks to alleviate this potential transportation ‘gridlock’ by providing a needed north/south multimodal corridor on the eastern border of the campus to connect Blackjack Road with the northern portion of campus.”

Congress annually appropriates funding for these TIGER grants, which are awarded on a competitive and matching fund basis, and are directed toward projects that are expected to have a significant economic impact.  Since 2009, Mississippi has received nearly $100 million in TIGER funds.

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GTR LINK Speaking with Several Companies about New Starkville Development

STARKVILLE – Courtesy of the Dispatch

GTRD LINK CEO Joe Max Higgins talks with a Starkville Rotary Club member Monday at Starkville Country Club. He discussed Starkville’s planned industrial park at the club’s weekly meeting. Photo by Luisa Porter – The Dispatch

Golden Triangle Development LINK CEO Joe Max Higgins said the LINK is ready and waiting to help make Starkville’s and Oktibbeha County’s new industrial park a reality. Higgins passed on the news while attending a meeting of the Starkville Rotary Club. He stated that the LINK is working with three companies with regards to an 80-acre parcel on the east side of the industrial park.

“We’ve got two, possibly three projects that we’re working that’ll fit [there],” Higgins said. “See, we can’t put somebody out there [in the rest of the site] until this zoning thing is closed because it puts the company and us in potentially having a bad problem. However, these companies could plug and play to go in there right now. A distribution facility could go in there right now.” He anticipates that the projects could create 175 to 300 jobs.

Higgins also spoke of a recent visit he paid to Boston and the Harvard School of Business, which is itself utilizing the information they gathered from a trip they took last fall, when they came to the Golden Triangle region in order to create two case studies for its students. He went on to say that these studies, along with the national media attention garnered by The Atlantic and by his appearance on “60 Minutes” has helped to raise the GTR’s profile and attracted the attention of groups such as Dartmouth  and the Harvard faculty:  “The world is watching what we do,” he said.

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MSU Will Soon Break Ground on New Student Housing Complex

MSU Will Soon Break Ground on New Student Housing Complex

STARKVILLE—Courtesy of MSU

MSU proposed College View Residential area. Photo courtesy of MSU

The Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning approved an joint agreement between MSU and collegiate housing specialists Memphis Education Realty Trust (EdR). They recently completed a feasibility study, and with that in hand, soaughtand obtained approval for development of a $67-million, 34-acre mixed-use university village. The location of the College View complex will be where the old Aiken Village apartments used to be, on the NW edge of campus. Groundbreaking may happen as soon as this Spring; if so, Phase I (residential housing for college seniors) should be complete by Fall of next year.

“I appreciate the support of the Board of Trustees as we have worked steadily over the past three years to bring this first-of-its kind project to a Mississippi university campus,” said MSU President Mark E. Keenum. “We believe that our partnership with EdR will help us meet the needs of our students and their families, and College View will also become a destination for members of the community, alumni and other visitors to Starkville and Mississippi State,” he went on to say.

For details about EdR, please visit the company’s Web site at www.EdRtrust.com.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.

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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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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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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.”

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Walmart Neighborhood Market to Open Soon in Starkville

Starkville’s new Walmart Neighborhood Market, which is a greatly scaled-down store intended to function more like a traditional grocery, is expected to open for business on Wednesday, January 17th. They are located off of Hwy 12 at 105 Market Street. The store is about 41 thousand square feet, or roughly a quarter of the size of a typical Wal-Mart store.

Walmart Director of Communication Anne Hatfield said that the new store will include a full produce department, bakery, deli, pharmacy, gas station, and a health and beauty department: “The focus is groceries,” Hatfield said. “It is a classic grocery store geared toward convenience. . . “If you need to run in and grab a gallon of milk or something to cook for dinner, this store is perfect for that,” she said. “If you need to make a full grocery shopping run, this store will offer everything you need for that too.” The store will also offer online ordering and pickup options.

Hatfield said the Walmart Neighborhood Market will create about 95 full-time and part-time jobs, many of which have been filled, with the employees undergoing initial training in the weeks leading up to their grand opening.

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Starkville Looks to the Future with Plans for Expansion

Starkville Looks to the Future with Plans for Expansion

STARKVILLE  – Courtesy of The Dispatch

Starkville Mayor Lynn Spruill, who took office a short six months back, recently addressed the local Rotary Club to speak about her intentions for the city’s future: “I’d like to say that everything we have going on is from my administration,” Spruill said, “but every administration builds on the administrations that come before. There were a lot of code changes that had to be made, especially in Parker’s first administration, that made a difference, no matter how you slice it.”

Starkville Mayor Lynn Spruill talks with Stuart Vance after speaking to Starkville Rotarians at the Starkville Country Club Monday afternoon – Photo by Deanna Robinson -Dispatch Staff

She spoke of some significant achievements the city has made since her arrival on the scene this summer, such as the approval of $7 million in bonds to support the new industrial park, chnages to the billboard ordinances, and changes to the alcohol ordinance that expanded hours businesses can serve alcohol and reduced the minimum distance such businesses can be from a church, school or funeral home: “I realized it was controversial,” Spruill said. “I ran on this, it was part of my platform, because I thought that this was critical to allow the area of our downtown to bring in more restaurants.”

Spruill went on to speak, among other things, about an annexation study that could potentially increase the city’s population by as much as 25%:”This is purely a study,” Spruill said. “We are looking to see if it would be feasible with being exorbitantly expensive for residents or the city. We’re looking at people who are enjoying the benefits of living in an urban area without sharing the expenses that go along with it. My hope is that we find it feasible.”

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GT Regional Airport Doing Record Business

GT Regional Airport Doing Record Business

STARKVILLE – Courtesy of The Dispatch

Warren Housley, left, visits with Golden Triangle Regional Airport Director Mike Hainsey. The airport director spoke to Starkville Rotary Club on Monday. Photo by: Deanna Robinson/Dispatch Staff

Golden Triangle Regional Airport Director Mike Hainsey recently spoke to the Starkville Rotary Club, where he told them that the airport has been doing record business: “Last month, we put more people on airplanes than any other October in the history of the airport,” he said. “That was a big number — we were running 90 percent full. … This month, we’re doing the same, which means we’ll have another record month. We’ll have a record November, if it continues.”

The airport, has done about $3.5 million in improvements in the last 18 months. Hainsey said that the improvements include work on the commercial and general aviation ramps, as well as a taxiway renovation that should finish this week. GTRA is also replacing old ramp and terminal lightning with more modern, energy efficient lights.

A 4,000 sq ft expansion is also in the works:”Our plan for the future is, as the airport grows, we’ll have bigger airplanes and we’ll need jet bridges so we’ll move everything upstairs,” he said.

He did note, however, that a shortage of pilots for the major airlines is likely to cause business to suffer in the future – especially for GTR and other smaller, regional airports: “This is, for us in the business, the single biggest threat to air service at my airport,” Hainsey said.

 

While airports are able to offer incentives to get more flights coming through them, the issue isn’t that, so much as the fact that the pilot population is dwindling as more and more pilots reach the mandatory pilot retirement age of 65. “They told me they have no new markets out of Dallas this next year,” he said. “They don’t know if they can man their existing markets. They can’t grow if they can’t — until it’s sure what’s going to happen with the pilot shortage. It’s getting that bad.”

“The bottom line on all this–for us to get air service, we have to take it from someone else,” he said. ” … For us to get air service, we’ll have to convince the airlines they’ll make more money at GTR than they will at other places. So we’re working that. We have a good case.”

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