By Michaela Gibson Morris/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Tupelo could soon see a Murphy USA gas station at a busy West Main Street intersection.
Murphy USA and Tupelo developer Tommy Morgan have put together a proposed site at the corner of West Main and Maynard Drive, opposite the Walmart Supercenter.
It would become the third gas station on the busy corner, joining Dodge’s and J’s Mart.
Already, the El Dorado, Ark.-based company has locations in Pontotoc, Fulton, Amory, New Albany, Booneville, West Point and Corinth in the region. They are typically located adjacent to Walmart Supercenters
The stations in Booneville, Pontotoc and Fulton often record the region’s lowest gas prices in the Daily Journal Biz Buzz weekly survey.
TM Realty has put together a parcel of four properties – a former insurance building and a former florist/gift shop, fronting West Main Street, and two residential properties facing Maynard Drive.
One of the lots, an open lot at 112 Maynard Drive, will need be rezoned from residential to commercial for the fueling station to become a reality.
“We have a contract subject to rezoning,” Morgan said, and the sale would likely close 30 days after the approval.
Morgan didn’t have a timeline for the fuel station construction.
“My understanding is that they would be moving pretty fast,” he said.
The Tupelo Planning Committee voted to approve the zoning change. However, the committee will hold a second hearing on the zoning request at its 6 p.m. Monday meeting because a notice of the proposed zoning change was not posted in one of the three places.
At the Jan. 7 meeting, the Thomas Street Neighborhood Association, represented by Beckie Richards, had no objections because Tommy Morgan and Murphy Oil had listened to the group’s concerns.
Thoses concerns were addressed with plans for an 8-foot fence with landscaping to act as a buffer between the station and the neighboring property, LED lighting directed away from the neighborhood and a Maynard Street entrance on the southwest corner of the property to reduce traffic congestion.
Owners of properties within 500 feet of 112 Maynard Street have been notified, said Pat Falkner, city planner. One neighbor has expressed reservations, but that person did not attend the Jan. 7 meeting.
Falkner said he has no new information to present on the rezoning request, but that any interested party would be able to speak on the rezoning.