February 20, 2009
JACKSON â€" The Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning met Wednesday with developers of the CottonMill Marketplace, a proposed group of stores, restaurants, residences, a hotel and conference center by the gates to Mississippi State University.
In the midst of the countryâ€™s severe economic recession, itâ€™s â€œamazingâ€ that financing has come together for the $213 million commercial venture, said Brooks Holstein, a manager with Net Lease Developers, who updated the board on CottonMillâ€™s progress.
CottonMillâ€™s centerpiece will be MSUâ€™s E.E. Cooley building. An old cotton mill now used by the universityâ€™s facilities management department, Cooley will be converted into offices and a conference center.
Holstein said heâ€™s currently working with the U.S. Department of Interior on how to properly renovate the 1902 building, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. Cooleyâ€™s restoration is estimated to cost about $37 million, Holstein said.
He said CottonMill developers have nearly finalized all the property contracts and expect to seal the deal next month on money being borrowed to build the marketplace. Plans call for CottonMillâ€™s groundbreaking by the end of March and construction to finish by the end of 2010.
â€œItâ€™s an amazing development,â€ Holstein said.
â€œThis will transform Starkville,â€ said West Point Mayor Scott Ross, an MSU graduate whoâ€™s on the IHL board.