TUPELO – Presley’s Flowers has moved out of downtown Tupelo, citing a lack of parking and a negative effect from the three-lane traffic test.
Presley’s Flowers opened 10 months ago in the storefront next to The GumTree Museum of Art. Last week, the business moved to 1124 W. Main St., the former Teacher’s Pet location.
Teacher’s Pet moved in February to 1252 W. Main St., behind O’Reilly Auto Parts. Owner Judy Dunehew said the move allowed Teacher’s Pet to grow its space and to expand into tutoring and teacher workshops.
Roman Milburn, owner of Presley’s Flowers, said the move out of downtown allowed his business to expand, plus he gained additional parking.
“We love downtown,” he said Wednesday. “We support them 100 percent, but we had to do what was best for us.”
He specifically cited the test of the three-lane traffic configuration as the deciding factor for his move.
“Once they took that lane down, I literally saw my walk-in business drop,” he said. “I wish them all the best of luck. I hope it works out for everyone, but it just didn’t work out for me.”
In March, the Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association worked with the city to restripe a section of Main Street from four lanes to two lanes of traffic, along with a center turn lane, on-street parking and a partial bike lane. The association is temporarily testing the configuration before the City Council will vote on permanent changes.
The test has been controversial with downtown business owners.
George Booth, owner of Tupelo Hardware, has emerged at the forefront of the anti-three-lane movement. He has a petition in his business that lets people sign “for” or “against,” but the signatures are overwhelming “against.”
Barbara Fleishhacker, owner of The Main Attraction, is leading the petition effort for the three-lane change. She has the petition at her business as well.
Debbie Brangenberg, executive director of Main Street, said Wednesday that the organization doesn’t have a timeline for bringing the project before City Council.
She also said Milburn, who is a Main Street member, didn’t mention any problems with the test or parking before he moved.
“He never voiced that opinion to any of us,” she said.
Contact Carlie Kollath at (662) 678-1598 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Carlie Kollath/NEMS Daily Journal