Daily Journal: "TUPELO – City officials announced on Wednesday a public-private partnership intended to inject additional commercial activity and entice new jobs into the downtown Fairpark District.
The city of Tupelo has agreed to sell certain property within the Fairpark District to Maloney Properties and will also construct at public expense infrastructure improvements to the area. These improvements will include water and sewer lines as well as an extended road network within the development area.
“This is a big step toward fulfilling the promise of Fairpark,” said Mayor Jason Shelton to the Daily Journal on Wednesday.
Shelton indicated hope that the agreement with Maloney will kick-start a wave of commercial investment into still undeveloped properties within the city’s former fairgrounds area.
However, Maloney Properties has only agreed at present to a more modest development plan. The company will purchase property located to the east of City Hall and south of the Tommy Morgan, Inc., Realtors building.
On that property, Maloney Properties has committed that it will eventually construct two multi-story buildings for office and retail space.
The company has agreed to invest a total of $12 million into the project in exchange for the city’s public infrastructure improvements. At least half of that private investment must be completed by next June.
In a written statement released by the city of Tupelo, Colin Maloney of Maloney Properties said he anticipated the construction of a “class A office building.”
No tenants have yet been publicly announced. Attempts to reach Colin Maloney on Wednesday for further comment were unsuccessful.
Under an agreement between the city and Maloney Properties, the company estimates that its private development could yield as many as 100 new jobs as well as new annual retail sales of approximately $5 million.
As an enticement, the city has agreed at minimum to remove a traffic circle at the end of Monaghan Drive, and extend a new street further south which will likely connect to both Fairpark Drive to the west and Elizabeth Street to the east.
According to a statement released by Shelton’s administration, city leaders estimate that public infrastructure improvements will cost approximately $1.3 million.
City officials believe the project will have no impact on city tax rates.
The agreement between Tupelo and Maloney Properties was approved on Wednesday during the first City Council meeting of a new four-year term that begins this month.
Shelton believes that meeting set a good tone for the immediate future.
“We’re kicking off the new term with a bang,” Shelton said.
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