Matt and Kelly Pittman, with their daughter, Harper, go over plans for renovations at The Depot with Realtor Royce Hudspeth and contractor Gene Reid on Tuesday. The Pittmans plan to use the historical Columbus building as part of their plans to expand their catering/event business that opened nine years ago in Columbia. Photo by: Slim Smith/Dispatch Staff
The Depot in Columbus is pictured in this 2016 Dispatch file photo. Columbia-based Elements Catering and Floral Design plan to expand in the lower level of the 135-year-old building located on the corner of Main Street and 13th Street South. They will call the second location The Depot.
Photo by: Dispatch file photo
September 13, 2018 11:02:42 AM
A commercial tenant has agreed to do business on the first floor of the old Columbus Depot.
Kelly Pittman and her husband Matt are opening an events and catering venue they will simply call The Depot, giving a nod to the history of the 135-year-old building.
"The name fits it really well and that's what Columbus has been calling it," Kelly Pittman said. "We just thought it was a good fit."
The Depot will be the Pittmans' second such business location in Mississippi. They opened Elements Catering and Floral Design in Columbia in 2009.
The Pittmans have catered weddings all over Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama. For each of the past four years, they have been selected as Couples Choice Award winners by Wedding Wire.
For several years, Kelly Pittman has been searching for a venue to expand the business. When she toured The Depot property in July, she said, her plans quickly began falling into place.
"Just walking in those doors, it was just breathtaking," she said. "The exposed brick, the rustic, exposed wooden beams, it just has so much character, and it kind of takes you back to a place with classic charm.
"We love the town of Columbus," she added. "It is beautiful. When we drove down Main Street with the shops and buildings, we were just in awe."
The Depot, a two-story building at the corner of Main and 13th Street South, was once a packed train station but was left vacant for years.
Gayle Guynup, a judge living in California, purchased the building in August 2014 and began restoring it for a mixed-use development.
Earlier this year, the four upstairs apartments were completed and have since been rented. That left about 6,200 square feet of first-floor space Guynup previously told The Dispatch she hoped would bring at least one commercial tenant.
Guynup did not return calls and messages for this article by press time.
Realtor Royce Hudspeth, who represented Guynup through Rhett Real Estate in finding a commercial tenant for the downstairs space, said the Pittmans' business seems like a "great fit" for The Depot.
"We've got a reason for everyone to be excited," Hudspeth said. "Columbus needs to be excited about this. They do a first class job. For a young couple, it's just amazing the practices (they've) built up, and (Kelly is) bringing that to the Golden Triangle."
Construction is already underway with Columbus contractor Gene Reid and should take about three months, Kelly Pittman said. She is hoping to start hosting events by January or February.
Pittman said she will hire up to 10 employees to help run the venue. The spacious location will have two large rooms, a reception and ceremony area, and a bridal room. A kitchen will also be built between those two rooms.
Pittman said the space can be rented for various events, including weddings, receptions, reunions, bridal showers and club meetings.
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