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Progress Made on the New Mixed-Use Development
Trees are cleared as the property prepares for businesses to join the city of Clinton.
Mississippi College (MC) revealed its plan for a mixed-use development on the property between U.S. Highway 80 and Interstate 20 in August 2022. MC is collaborating with the city of Clinton for this project. The property will include a variety of retail stores, a hotel, and a medical facility. The goal is to create an incubator space for graduates of MC to kickstart their businesses and other pursuits.
Progress has advanced slowly since the August announcement. The first step of clearing the trees from the property was completed in the Fall semester, but the next step is not so simple.
“The next step is to start on the infrastructure, [which includes] water, a sewer system, streetlights, [light] signals, and electricity,” said Tracey Harrison, associate vice president for marketing and communication.
Infrastructure work will begin within the next year. Because of supply chain difficulties, an official start date has not been declared. In the meantime, the team has started making headway into planning specific retail.
On Dec. 1, 2022, a meeting was held to brainstorm ideas. Several MC board members, faculty, and university leaders, including President Thompson, were present. Also present was Robert Farr, an architect representing Cooke Douglass Farr Lemon PA (CDFL).
CDFL specializes in architectural work and engineering. The company was responsible for the renovations of Alumni Hall back in 2020. CDFL was selected to design the mixed-use development. Robert St. James, a well-known entrepreneur from Hattiesburg, Mississippi, also attended. He owns several restaurants in the state, including recently opened Enzo Osteria in Ridgeland. St. James gave ideas that pertained to future dining options.
At this point, the only businesses confirmed in the development are the medical facility and a boutique hotel. A boutique hotel is relatively smaller than the average hotel. They are often more stylish and intimate. Unlike brand-name hotels, boutique hotels are uniquely designed to relate to their specific locations.
Harrison expects that the first business completed on the property will be the medical facility. Specific details about the medical facility have yet to be released, but the future of MC’s Baptist Healthplex as students know it may be in the balance.
Harrison’s next task is to give the development an official name.
“I hope that we will be able to incorporate some of the new branding in the name,” said Harrison. “I think it’s going to not only help MC but also help the city of Clinton.”
The mixed-use development will not be fully completed for quite some time. Future students at MC will have the opportunity to take advantage of all of the property’s benefits. However, university leadership wants the current student body to bring ideas to the table and be invested in the betterment of both the city and the university.
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