By Carlie Kollath/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – The new CDF Center is officially open for business.
The Community Development Foundation on Monday showed off its new three-story building in Fairpark to hundreds of residents and community leaders.
“It’s a great day for CDF,” said Tommy Green, vice president of the Chamber of Commerce, which falls under CDF’s umbrella.
Fresh flowers were everywhere, food displays were abundant, and all the rooms were open for snooping, even the office of David Rumbarger, president and CEO of CDF.
His office faces City Hall and overlooks all of downtown, including the economic development agency’s old building at the corner of Main and Broadway streets.
“I miss the historic nature of my old office, but I’m excited about the new history,” Rumbarger said Monday. “I’m delighted about the sales prospects in the new office.”
CDF and community leaders emphasized the need to make a good first impression on potential business recruits, and thus why they opted for the grand nature of the building, which is behind the Renasant Center for IDEAs at the southwest corner of Main and Elizabeth streets.
The 24,300-square-foot building is the Phase II expansion of the Renasant Center for IDEAs. The first floor primarily houses meeting rooms available for rent, and the second floor is unfinished and awaiting new business incubator tenants. The third floor houses offices for CDF staff.
The McCarty Co. designed the building and the interior. Panola Construction built the facility.
American-made products were used during the construction, and McCarty designed the building for LEED certification. If the eco-conscious certification is awarded, it will be the first building downtown to achieve it, according to CDF.
Half of the $5.4 million project was funded with stimulus money from the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration.
The federal money had to be matched. Lee County and CDF are each paying half of the $2.7 million match, according to Lee County Administrator Sean Thompson.
The grant proposal said the project is expected to generate 179 new jobs and $24.2 million in private investment within nine years of the project’s completion. The grant said the numbers relate to potential businesses looking to locate on the second floor of the facility.
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