Land donated for market plaza in Pontotoc

By David Helms/The Pontotoc Progress

Lifelong Pontotoc resident and business owner Mike Simon has donated the city a one acre parcel of land, located downtown at the intersection of Jefferson Street and Lafayette Street.

The parcel is located in the south end of the former Sunflower Grocery parking lot and adjoins Antiques Off the Square.

Pontotoc Main Street and Chamber Director Ellen Russell said planning is underway to soon construct an open air market plaza on the property.

“Thanks to the generosity of Mike (Simon) and his family, we have a wonderful opportunity to develop our own open air market in downtown Pontotoc,” Russell said.

“The biggest plus is this is going to be a great boost to the downtown area.”

Russell said a five-person committee is gathering information and suggestions for what will hopefully be a multi-function facility.

“We’re thinking carefully about what we even want to call the facility, because we don’t want its use pigeonholed by any name,” Russell said.

“For one thing it’s going to be used as a farmers’ market where local farmers, gardeners and vendors can sell fresh produce, other agricultural products, homemade food items, live plants and crafts to the public,” she said.

“But hopefully it will get even more use as a covered venue for fund-raisers, special events, entertainment, children’s activities and even public education.”

Russell said the committee is working with architect Dusty Parker to design an aesthetically pleasing facility which will be lighted and include rest rooms.

“We’re talking about a public gathering place, where clubs, schools and churches could host bake sales, suppers and steak sales.

“And hopefully this market plaza will be an asset to develop a whistle stop in downtown Pontotoc for the ongoing Tanglefoot Trail development, she added.

“We’re in the early planning stages of this project and anyone should feel free to contact me at the chamber office with suggestions and ideas.”