$152,774 approved for unused Fairpark lot

TUPELO – The Tupelo Redevelopment Agency is expected to buy back a piece of residential property in Fairpark on Friday.
The City Council on Wednesday gave TRA authorization to spend $152,774.80 to repurchase an empty lot at South Commerce and Clark streets, near the current townhouses.
Diana Cosby of Tupelo bought the lot about six years ago.
Most properties in the Fairpark district have a buyback clause that allows TRA to buy land back for the original price if it is not developed within a certain time frame.
TRA members have exercised that option once – when they repurchased a lot two years ago on Main Street where Oby’s restaurant had planned to build. The project didn’t pan out.
They had another opportunity last year to buy back land for the once-proposed Fairpark Plaza, but opted not to. Members at the time said the agency couldn’t afford such a large purchase.
Cosby’s land did not have a buyback clause. She approached city attorney Guy Mitchell about TRA buying back the land.
TRA Chairman John Oxford, in his presentation Wednesday to the City Council, said it is his understanding that Cosby didn’t have any plans for the property in the foreseeable future.
“We don’t like taking private property off the tax rolls,” Oxford said. “But in this case, we feel it is a good, marketable piece of property. … We don’t have to buy it back, but at this time, it’s my opinion that it’s in our best interest to buy it back.”
TRA is using proceeds from land sales to buy back the property. The City Council had to approve the sale because the expense is above the agency’s annual budget.
TRA and Mitchell intend to close the sale Friday.

Contact Carlie Kollath at (662) 678-1598 or carlie.kollath@journalinc.com.

Carlie Kollath/NEMS Daily Journal