CITY MULLS USES FOR EMPTY BUILDING

CATEGORY: ALD Tupelo City Council

AUTHOR: MOULDE

CITY MULLS USES FOR EMPTY BUILDING

By Philip Moulden

Daily Journal

The Dollar General Corp. has abandoned the city-owned building it occupied downtown and local officials aren’t sure whether the company plans to renew its presence in Tupelo.

Company officials at the Dollar General headquarters in Scottsville, Ky., were unable to locate someone who could respond to questions during a telephone inquiry Tuesday.

“I don’t know where they’ve gone myself,” Mayor Jack Marshall said after noting the building was vacant.

In a presentation before the City Council Tuesday, the city administration proposed ripping down the northern part of the building and using the space to expand a parking lot between City Hall and Green Street. The new area would accommodate 37 new parking spaces, boosting total parking availability to 111 spaces.

At the same time, the city would try to market the portion of the building fronting Main Street to a private developer for conversion to offices or store fronts. The city also wants the developer to build a second floor on the remaining portion to enhance building continuity in that part of downtown, Marshall said.

“You could have five rentable spaces (store fronts) there … and five apartments upstairs,” Marshall said. “There’s a demand for apartments in that area.”

City officials noted last November that Dollar General reacted negatively to city plans to boost lease payments on the building from $1.17 a square foot to $1.75. That increase was proposed after appraisals determined the rent was too low.

The company had held the current lease since 1988, but city officials couldn’t immediately determine if the company had occupied the building prior to that time. The lease expired last month.

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