Aldermen Hear Arguments for New Furniture Store in Former Vowell’s Location

STARKVILLE, Mississippi – Courtesy of the Dispatch and Zack Plair

Attorney Julie Brown, representing Roy Oswalt of 44 Properties, speaks to Starkville aldermen Tuesday evening in City Hall – Zack Plair – The Dispatch

Attorney Julie Brown spoke to Starkville aldermen recently on behalf of Pearl’s Miskelly Furniture. Their company purchased the old Vowell’s Marketplace property after shut down in 2021. they are looking into what incentives the City might offer them to open up there, as they have put over $3 million into renovating the building for future retail use, and they are already bringing in Dollar Tree and Ace Hardware as tenants. They are asking that the City allow them a 10-year property tax exemption. “They could have gone to Oxford, Tupelo, or Columbus. But they picked Starkville,” Brown said. “But, of course, they’re like everybody else. They’ve got a budget, and they need to make it work.” Brown argued that the sales tax income would more than make up for the temporary loss in property tax revenue.

The aldermen discussed the matter during the hearing, but chose to table the matter for now. Some expressed their concerns, including Ward 3’s Jeffrey Rupp: “I want to be cautious on how much sales tax it’s going to generate because if you’re going to Ace Hardware, does that mean you’re not going to East Mississippi Lumber?” he asked. “Does that mean you’re not going to Lowe’s? Is that creating new tax dollars? I think it will with Miskelly. I think (that’s) a great get.”

Ward 1 Alderwoman Kim Moreland, serving her first meeting on the board, said, “I’m for getting them here, but I don’t want to give more than we have to to get them here.”

Corner Market had been looking at the location at one point, but decided against it last year.

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