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Browning on Business: Hwy. 45 seeing more moving, shaking


William Browning

William Browning



William Browning



There is property changing hands out on Highway 45 North in Columbus and some new businesses are moving in. 


Like this: A Dick's Sporting Goods is expected to be located in a currently unoccupied portion of the old University Mall. There will also be an as-yet-unnamed arts and crafts outlet store in the 50,000-square-foot-space, which is beside Belk Department Store. No timetable has been offered for those openings. 


But out in front of that area, beside the highway, there was once a Krystal fast food restaurant. It opened in 2009 and closed during the summer of 2012. The building that housed it is still there and over the last six weeks or so, if you've driven by, you have probably noticed heavy equipment moving dirt around, some work being done on the entrance way, some renovations going on inside. 


Burney Threadgill purchased the property -- it is 130 feet wide and 150 feet deep -- from Krystal in March, roughly two months before the announcement of the new University Mall tenants .  


Threadgill is going to lease the building to Todd Burkis and Rob Moore, and they plan on opening a restaurant called JT's Burgers, Fries & Shakes in the location. 


Burkis said the focus will be on hamburgers made from fresh ground beef, never frozen. But there will be a full menu. The restaurant will be geared toward the drive-thru crowd. 


Expected open date: sometime in early February. 


Less than a mile from that location, going toward downtown Columbus, on the opposite side of the road, a vacant lot recently changed owners and some plans are brewing. 


The spot is a little less than an acre in size in the 1900 block. It touches the highway in between Replays and the C-Spire building, directly across from an Arbys. 


Mark Castleberry owned the spot until late November, when he sold it to Mike Rozier, a developer based in Carroll County. 


Rozier, when contacted Wednesday afternoon, confirmed that a development in the works. He was not ready, though, to say exactly what will be coming to the spot. A few specifics need to be worked out. 


"All I can say is it will be good," Rozier said. "It will be good for Columbus." 


Rozier said he will go public with plans in coming weeks. 


Speaking of Castleberry, a local developer, he confirmed this week that one of his Columbus projects -- a Courtyard by Marriott hotel on 6th Street North -- will be open for business in mid-March. 


The full-service Courtyard will feature 110 rooms and more than 3,000 square feet of conference space. The hotel was founded in Georgia and targets business travelers while also accomodating large families. 


Castleberry also said that the Hampton Inn and Suites, in the same area, should have its doors open by next October or November. It will feature 90 rooms. 


According to the business' corporate website, there are 33 Hampton locations in the Mississippi area (which includes Memphis). The two closest are in West Point and Starkville. 


Browning on Business is a weekly column that runs each Thursday. We want your input. Send items and tips to [email protected] or [email protected]


William Browning was managing editor for The Dispatch until June 2016.



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