Aldermen to seek funding for CottonMill project

June 15, 2010 10:47:00 AM

Tim Pratt -


The Starkville Board of Aldermen today is expected to seek nearly $12 million in funding for the proposed CottonMill Marketplace retail development. 


Aldermen are considering a resolution seeking $8 million in Community Development Block Grant funds for a parking deck. The board also will consider a resolution seeking $3.8 million from the Mississippi Development Authority for road improvements around the development, proposed between Spring Street and Russell Street off Highway 12.  


Additionally, aldermen plan to submit the development for consideration in MDA''s Mississippi Tourism Rebate Program, which would authorize retail sales collected from CottonMill Marketplace to be diverted to the Mississippi Sales Tax Incentive Fund for as many as 10 years and, subsequently, divert those sales tax revenues to the CottonMill Marketplace Development Group. The Mississippi Development Authority would provide up-front capital to finance part of the development, Starkville Mayor Parker Wiseman said.  


The city would not receive sales tax revenues from the development while the Mississippi Tourism Rebate Program is in place.  


"I don''t look at it like the city is losing money off it because you''re talking about potential retail that wouldn''t materialize without that (MDA) financing in place," Wiseman said. 


Plans for CottonMill Marketplace call for the transformation of the E.E. Cooley Building, located on Russell Street, from offices and storage space into a conference center. When renovations are complete, the conference center portion of the Cooley Building will be about 80,000-square-feet and renovated office space will take up about 30,000-square-feet, according to plans. 


To the south of the Cooley Building, a 70,000-square-foot hotel is planned. 


Because the development is being designed for mixed-use, it also would feature residential units and retail establishments. No potential tenants have been named. 


Additionally, plans call for a boulevard in the middle of the development, which would be pedestrian and bicycle friendly.  


Aldermen meet at 5:30 p.m. today in City Hall.