Midtown District: New association of Tupelo businesses formed

Lauren Wood | Buy at photos.djournal.com Members and participants of the newly organized Midtown District are, from left, Kelly Holcomb, Staggs; Daniel Hicks, Fame Creative; Alice Rogers, Flowerdale Marketplace; Kathy Tucker, HealthWorks!; Chuck Williams, Tupelo Public Works interim director; David Knight, Tupelo horticulture superintendent; Neil May, Southern Cloth; and Rosemary Gaines, Jody's Florist.

Lauren Wood | Buy at photos.djournal.com
Members and participants of the newly organized Midtown District are, from left, Kelly Holcomb, Staggs; Daniel Hicks, Fame Creative; Alice Rogers, Flowerdale Marketplace; Kathy Tucker, HealthWorks!; Chuck Williams, Tupelo Public Works interim director; David Knight, Tupelo horticulture superintendent; Neil May, Southern Cloth; and Rosemary Gaines, Jody’s Florist.

By Dennis Seid

Daily Journal

TUPELO – The newly formed Midtown District hopes its neighborly bond will extend far beyond its imaginary borders and bring additional people to the area.

“This is a community within a community,” said Flowerdale Marketplace owner Alice Rogers and District organizer.

The business association comprises some 20 businesses bordered by South Industrial Road, West Main Street, South Gloster Street and Varsity Drive.

“We wanted an identity,” Rogers said. “I remember telling some people I had moved to Industrial, and a lot of them didn’t know where it was. … but the road has been here 30 or 40 years at least.”

The association is completely volunteer-driven, relying on business owners. Many have gotten to know each other as neighbors, so forming a business association was a good model. Their main goal: Let people know that they can find just about anything they want in the area.

The area is packed with mostly smaller independent stores, including a bakery, a health food store, golf shop and other specialty shops.

There’s also a Renasant Bank branch, and, just outside the district is a Kroger.

“You can just about get everything you want right here,” said Staggs Interiors co-owner Kelly Holcomb.

He said he wanted the area to be known other than a cut-though to other parts of town.

“We’re specialty shops for the most part, and as neighbors, we wanted to work together to raise the profile of the area,” he said.

To mark the Midtown District, 16 banners will be placed on light poles in the area. Designed by Daniel Hicks of Fame Creative, the banners will go up starting today on South Industrial Road and Varsity Drive.

The city’s public works department also is helping spruce up the area. New guardrails are being installed, and new trees will be planted later this fall.

About 16 aging and brittle Bradford pear trees will be taken out and replaced by sturdier trees, said David Knight, the city’s horticulture superintendent.

Rogers said the curb appeal of the Midtown District will be greatly enhanced by the new landscaping.

The Midtown District officially kicks off its new status next Thursday from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. with a holiday open house. Several stores will feature trunk showings and specials. Refreshments also will be provided.

dennis.seid@journalinc.com

  • Kevin

    Why do Tupeloans try to act like they live in a big city when it’s nothing but a small hick town?

    • tupelojoe81

      nice post, Mr Intelligence.

      • Kevin

        Did I touch a nerve?

        • tupelojoe81

          I’m sure you already know the answer to that question, since you are so smart.

    • Tupeloan

      For the same reason why people like you try to tear them down for bettering themselves and their surrounding community.

      • Kevin

        C’mon, the only reason they formed this midtown district association is to sell people crap they don’t need. There’s no reason for any of these businesses to exist when there’s two Wal-Marts within close proximity. Tupeloans should do their patriotic duty and shop at Wally World!

    • Pragmatic

      Why do you live here?

      • Kevin

        Why do you think I live in Tupelo? Actually, I don’t live there. I once did, but I had the sense and the wherewithal to get the hell out of that hick town.

        • tupelojoe81

          but you care enough to read our paper? Says a lot about you.

          • Kevin

            Yes, it’s my entertainment. Tupelo is just so comical.

  • ultracreep

    I live in this area and love to shop local, so I’m glad to see anyone draw interest to some of the neat little stores that don’t get much attention. Shout out to Poe Poz!

  • Tupelo_Guy

    I went by and saw the area this morning….didn’t see the banners going up. I saw the building where Elizabeth Claire’s and other stores reside. One day, they should paint the whole building and do cohesive awnings to make it visually appealing from the street.

  • Guest Person

    I think it is a great idea and I wish them well. It seems like the American way – a group of people coming together speaking as one to promote and protect their interests! Any where else that would be called a union and quickly demonized.

  • Winston Smith

    At first I thought this idea sounded really dumb, but the concept of business owners and residents coming together to promote and beautify their area can only be good for the community. I hope that’s a trend that continues to other areas of Tupelo.

  • Tupelo_Guy
  • barney fife

    We arrived in Tupelo almost 3 years ago, never having been in MS before. We like it and intend to stay. Tupelo has been small and is growing. Folks like myself – yankee born, well educated and without local history / hang-ups or prejudices – are relocating for a variety of reasons.
    I’m glad to be here.

    • Todd

      Nice post BF and glad you are here. 13 years myself, and like you…not from here. Southern born and educated …lived in a lot of places from Italy, SF, NYC, FL, TN, RI, AR, LA, WS, IL….and this is a great place to raise a family,….. despite what you read on here sometimes. Working together, we can make it even better….

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