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jetjockey75

New Mall for Golden Triangle

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The Columbus-Starkville-West Point area received some good economic news this week. Retail developer Newton Oldacre McDonald announced plans to build an 800,000 square foot shopping mall just west of Columbus. The mall, which could open as early as mid-2009, is expected to draw customers from six surrounding counties and create as many as 2000 jobs. The new facility will mean that shoppers will no longer have to go to Jackson, Tupelo, or Tuscaloosa for decent shopping, and will also benefit the local tax base. This could also serve to lure even more new industry into the area. :)

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Retail developer Newton Oldacre McDonald announced plans to build an 800,000 square foot shopping mall just west of Columbus.

Good for Columbus ! The same developer proposed a large shopping center 1 block from my house in Tuscaloosa a few

months ago, but nobody here seems to know whether that project will actually happen.

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This looks like it could be a great development for North Mississippi. I can't wait to see more details about this. I'm sure the ancillary developments will be considerable.

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Great, more corporate chain stores to drive Mississippians out of business. Maybe they can get a job as a checker at Target. Too bad the government can't spend its money on local people who keep their money in the community.

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I understand your point Tennreb, but let's first see what this development amounts to before we dismiss it. Sometimes a large shopping mal can be an economic generator for an area. In some cases, however, it can spell doom for a thriving downtown. I'd like to see what this mall will be like before offering an opinion. Your prediction of deadly dull chain stores may be all too true, but I'd love to think that it could be something more.

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I understand your point Tennreb, but let's first see what this development amounts to before we dismiss it. Sometimes a large shopping mal can be an economic generator for an area. In some cases, however, it can spell doom for a thriving downtown. I'd like to see what this mall will be like before offering an opinion. Your prediction of deadly dull chain stores may be all too true, but I'd love to think that it could be something more.

I don't see any possible way that this won't be bad for downtown Columbus and Starkville, eroding the quality of life in those two cities. Not only will it be bad for the downtowns, it will also be bad for folks in that area that operate retail businesses. That is of course unless you define quality of life as convenient access to Starbucks. In that case, Batesville has made it.

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Ugh. I hate to think of a mall destroying the individual stores of a thriving downtown area. One place where the downtown area is at least surviving- in spite of a mall- is Natchez. The Natchez Mall was always something of a flop. Of course, it dodn't have very good stores either. It took over a decade for downtown Natchez to recover from the initial shock. I won't pretend that the retail scene there is vibrant, but there is just enough tourism and local support for most of the stores to survive. As I have noted elsewhere, these developments would be so much better if they were placed downtown instead of at a highway interchange.

Does the world need another Chess King or Orange Juiius?

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This is the developer's website. According to BidClerk, the project will be similar to Tigertown in Opelika, Alabama. While this could be a boon for the area, my feelings are very mixed about a project which could drive downtown businesses into the ground.

Newton Oldacre McDonald

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This is the developer's website. According to BidClerk, the project will be similar to Tigertown in Opelika, Alabama. While this could be a boon for the area, my feelings are very mixed about a project which could drive downtown businesses into the ground.

Newton Oldacre McDonald

That's worse than I thought. It's nothing more than a strip mall.

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Sometimes a large shopping mal can be an economic generator for an area. In some cases, however, it can spell doom for a thriving downtown.

Columbus' downtown was doomed already before the mall announcement. People just don't go there to shop much anymore. The best stores in the downtown have all closed or moved within the last 5 years and have been replaced by a few specialty shops that may or may not make it; I was told by a former downtown merchant that there were too few shoppers downtown and the rents were way too high. There is still a decent restaurant or two, but a couple of the best ones closed due to lack of business. The best thing that the downtown has going for it is the 100 or so loft apartments which always have a near-100 percent occupancy rate. There was a time about 5 years ago when there was a lot happening in downtown Columbus at night; some cool bars and placed to listen to music. That's all gone now.

Downtown Starkville seems to be faring better, probably due to its close proximity to the university. I seriously doubt that the mall, if it materializes, will have any impact there.

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You mention that downtown Columbus had nightlife a few years ago. Why did it die off? Can't it be resuscitated? I still don't think this is enough of a reason to give up on downtown. Perhaps it's a reason to build more things downtown.

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You mention that downtown Columbus had nightlife a few years ago. Why did it die off? Can't it be resuscitated? I still don't think this is enough of a reason to give up on downtown. Perhaps it's a reason to build more things downtown.

Don't know exactly why it died off; I guess the downtown just lost its moxie. Both of the neat bars/music clubs were owned by people who closed their restaurants. Another really great coffee house closed when its building was sold. Columbus is just not a town that supports nightlife, at least not right now. I'm hoping that as more outsiders move in to take jobs with some of the new industry, things downtown will start hopping again. But that will take time.

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Doesn't the presence of a college help nightlife? At least a little bit? I'd hope that things could pick up for downtown Columbus, but building a mall outside of downtown may not be the way to encourage a flourishing town center. Businesses need local support if they are to flourish. The only exceptions are in tourist spots, which Columbus isn't. It would be nice to think that the developers might reconsider and place their project in closer proximity to downtown Columbus, but that's certainly impossible at this point.

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Doesn't the presence of a college help nightlife? At least a little bit?

If you're talking about the "W", the answer is a resounding "no". I'm not really sure why, but to begin with, I think there are only 2500 students enrolled there this year. Relatively few of those live in the dorms or in downtown apartments. The W is the most low-key college I have ever lived around; there is just not a whole lot of interaction between the school and the community, and it is sad. I would think at the least there would be a couple of cozy little coffee shops near the campus, but nada. Contrast that with Starkville, Oxford or Hattiesburg, where the communities seem to revolve around the university.

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Does Columbus and/or the Golden Trinagle already have a mall? I figured an inclosed mall would be in that region somewhere due to the local population clustering, airforce base, and decent regional economy. I am unfamilar with the region beyong what I read and what people who do business there tell me, so I may be off in my assessment of the area.

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Does Columbus and/or the Golden Trinagle already have a mall?

Columbus does have Leigh Mall, which is pretty pathetic. It's small, at least 35-40 years old, and has always been poorly managed. It also has no room to expand. When the new mall opens, they might as well bulldoze Leigh Mall.

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Great, more corporate chain stores to drive Mississippians out of business. Maybe they can get a job as a checker at Target. Too bad the government can't spend its money on local people who keep their money in the community

Have you been to Starkville/Columbus recently? And do you like having the lowest rate of shoppers stay in town in the state? :blink:

Apparently, this thinking :

It's nothing more than a strip mall.

Is what dooms Mississippi.

The Golden Triangle needs one thing more than anything else: to keep its citizens spending its money IN ITS CITY LIMITS. The problem is you have the 17,000 MSU students go home to bigger cities, Hattiesburg, Tupelo, over every weekend. You have adults go shop for everything in Tuscaloosa or Tupelo or Jackson.

This notion that a new mall with Target would kill the local economy is laughable :rofl: The local economy is on life support. There is not enough people to start a revitalization by themselves. You need to pull revenue from outside the city's limits, and keep your own. And "downtown", all 4 blocks of it TOTAL in Starkville/Columbus, is really not going to accomplish that. Actually it WONT.

If you keep college students and adults in town on weekends, it has a cascading effect. The more likely they are to go out at night, to eat or for entertianment. The more likely that new businesses, retail, service, industry, will open up because of the plethora of things to do during the off hours. Also the more likely you'll pull in more students with more disposable income. And thus the better chance at downtowns having a renewed interest from their citizens.

A large new fresh mall is part of solving the economic problem that GTR has.

I am not one to LOVE malls/strips/cookie cutter economic growth. But it would be a huge boon to the area. Period.

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I agree that the mall will help the area. My point is only that it would be better to see the mall built in such a way that it helps the existing city instead of draining what life there is there away into an insular nodule of commerce. There's no doubt that having students and others drive to Tuscaloosa isn't going to help the Golden Triangle in any way.

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Have we really dipped so low in Mississippi that our economy is dependent on strip malls? Maybe so. Instead of competing with the next town over for a strip mall, we need to change the way people think about spending their entertainment/dining/shopping dollar. The nation is rapidly adopting a "shop local" attitude, but this movement has yet to hit Mississippi (except for some areas like Oxford). Spending your money locally on locally owned businesses and products keeps your money local, and thus benefits you. Austin was one of the first places that shopping local became popular. People there are really adamant about eating at local restaurants and buying locally made products. As a result, the town has great restaurants and unique products. I know people there that will only drink Texas wine and Texas beer and eat locally-made cheese, among many other local products. Local government should do its part by supporting local businesses, instead of giving tax breaks to out-of-state developers and multinational corporations that siphon money out the community. While those companies pay taxes locally, all their profit goes elsewhere. Oxford is pretty much the only community in Mississippi where a local mindset has really become a part of the culture. As a result, Oxford has the best restaurants in the state, some of the best shopping, a great economy, and lots of good locally-produced products. However, it has a long way to go.

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Most of my family lives in Columbus and when I come to visit it just seems like Columbus and Starkville may just benefit from a better shopping mall. The Leigh Mall to me is just another shopping center thats why my family a lot of times go to Tuscaloosa or Tupelo to shop. I think it would help though.

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If I understand this correctly, Downtown is only four blocks. Ok, redesign this retail project and make it a "lifestyle center", but not like many others. Incorporate the four blocks INTO the project, and DO NOT build all the buildings for the retail out of stucco! Use real brick, stone, granite, even marble, do the side walks in stone or brick, use gas lanterns, or at least some nice type of decorative lighting, let this complex be surrounded by water elements such as fountains, waterfalls, different styles, place different types of sculpture in the entire complex, and unlike your usual lifestyle center, let the streets become plazas with fountains and sculpture, and send the cars into hiding in the parking decks spaced at major entrances to the complex and hidden behind the retailer's stores and restaurants in the complex. Take a stroll through the original four block downtown, look at all the restaurants and outdoor patios, or if on the second level of a building, a large balcony with torch lighting.

Now as far as tenants, in the contract let it be known that a certain amount of retail space with be reserved for local chefs, and that a certain amount will be reserved for local retailers with unique products, and finally reverse the shopping course. Have people wanting to come to Columbus like over the weekend to shop becuase Columbus NOW has some of the best shopping!!, so that means the complex might also need a couple of hotels built in it like on one of the main plazas.

So you get up have breakfast, then go down to the lobby and out onto the plaza at 10:00 am and it is time to shop and have the time of your life. Later in the evening, eat out and decide what type of food you want, then go hit one of the hip bars and have cocktails, or go to a brewery/restaurant and sample the

local areas beer. Before you leave do not forget to stop by the wine shop and pick up a couple bottles, and tell the hubby to go by Revolution Jeans Couture to pick up his pants that the taylor needed to change the length, and those two shirts you bought at that shop where the owner makes them herself.

This is just an idea of what I would do. I am very partial to Mississippi because my mom was born and raised in MS, and I spent every summer from school break, since I was like 5 years old up until 18 with my grandparents and relatives here in MS. I hope this project will be done the RIGHT way. Good luck!!

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