Cotton Mill Marketplace developer Mark Nicholas confirmed construction of a full-service Holiday Inn and a large retail center, pictured in the graphic above, will begin immediately. The retail center will bring several restaurants, including Hungry Howie’s Pizza, Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwich Shop and Salsarita’s Fresh Cantina, and at least one boutique clothier to Starkville by the end of the year. Photo by: Courtesy graphic
March 19, 2014 9:50:53 AM
A $20 million development along Miss. Highway 12's frontage area will soon hold a seven-space retail center and a full-service, 117-bed Holiday Inn, Cotton Mill Marketplace Developer Mark Nicholas confirmed Tuesday to aldermen.
The project will transform the area next to the Mill at MSU development, which itself aims to transform the historic E.E. Cooley Building into a conference center and construct a hotel, and complement the project, Nicholas said. It, along with The Mill at MSU project, will completely redevelop the Russell Street-Miss. Highway 12 corridor, a tract of land officials call the front door to the university.
Construction is set to begin immediately. The retail space should be completed by late 2014, Nicholas said, while the hotel will take about a year to build.
Nicholas confirmed three chain restaurants, including Hungry Howie's Pizza, Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches and Salsarita's Fresh Cantina, have committed to the project. He stopped short of identifying other potential retailers but did say at least one boutique clothier would located within the Cotton Mill Marketplace development.
The project is still two retailers short of 100 percent occupancy, Nicholas said, but developers will continue to aggressively market the remaining openings.
Traction for projects within the Russell Street-Miss. Highway 12 corridor recently increased after officials confirmed a ceremonial ground-breaking ceremony for The Mill at MSU will be held 3:30 p.m. Thursday at the Cooley Building.
Like the Cotton Mill Marketplace project, the $40 million Mill development, led by Columbus-based developer Mark Castleberry, was in the works for many years and also delayed by the economic downturn of 2008-2009.
Economic development officials predicted 300 could be created between the two projects, which is more created than combined industrial development lands made by the Golden Triangle Development LINK for Oktibbeha County in 2013.
A third integral portion of the entire Russell Street-Miss. Highway 12 development, a joint MSU-city parking facility, will be financed through an $8 million Community Development Block Grant. Nicholas said the infrastructure improvement, along with the conference center, will greatly help market the retail stores and hotel.
Scheduled to appear at The Mill at MSU's ground-breaking are MSU President Mark Keenum, U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, Mississippi Development Authority CFO Kathy Gelston and Castleberry, university officials confirmed last week.
Actual work on the project is expected to begin shortly after the ceremony. Last week, sources close to the development said Castleberry was in the process of closing financial deals needed to finance the project were coming to fruition.
Carl Smith covers Starkville and Oktibbeha County for The Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter @StarkDispatch
2. Photos: Market Street 2015 COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
3. A closer look at the Lowndes Co. bond issue COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
4. Community unites for Nepal at MUW candlelight vigil COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY