Supes approve funding for major retail development

October 15, 2013 9:56:21 AM

Nathan Gregory - [email protected]


Lowndes County supervisors agreed to their end of a tax increment financing project today that would bring two major retail chains to Columbus as early as next October. 


The names of the chains were not revealed, but one of them was described as a large-scale sporting goods retailer and the other an arts and crafts business. The retailers will be announced at a later date. 


The Columbus city council is expected to approve its portion of the development when they meet today at 5 p.m. at the municipal complex. 


Golden Triangle Development Link CEO Joe Max Higgins and Stephen Edds of Jackson-based firm Baker Donelson were on hand to walk county leaders through their participation in the development. 


As part of the agreement with Chattanooga, Tenn.-based development firm The Hutton Company, the county and city will pledge at least 65 percent and up to 100 percent, if necessary, of ad valorem revenues strictly from the new property. The city would also dedicate at least 65 percent of the sales tax revenue generated from the 50,000-square-foot retail space. The city and county will contribute $1.25 million through roughly 15 years. 


The now-vacant building beside Belk near Wilkins-Wise Road that was once University Mall will be demolished and replaced with a new facility to house both stores. Upgrades will also include reconfiguring the parking lot by the Wilkins-Wise entrance and adding new light fixtures and landscaping. 


The Hutton Company will add ownership of the space to its other six in Mississippi. It has completed 735 projects in the United States. 


For more on this and other developments in today's county and city board meetings, see Wednesday's edition of The Dispatch.

Nathan Gregory covers city and county government for The Dispatch.