TRA board calls reprieve 'good solution'

TUPELO – The board members of the Tupelo Redevelopment Agency unanimously approved an agreement Tuesday that will allow the BancorpSouth Conference Center to postpone lease payments for a year.
The agreement was made public at a City Council work session last week.
In calling for the motion, board member Tim Prewitt said he thought the deal was “pretty creative.”
“In these economic times, I definitely think this is a good solution,” he said. ” More people need to come up with these instead of letting businesses go under.”
With the deal, Master Hospitality, which owns the BancorpSouth Conference Center and the Hilton Garden Inn, is granted a one-year reprieve from making lease payments to TRA, which owns the land.
The payments will be tacked onto the end of the contract, said TRA Chairman John Oxford.
“This gives them a little breathing room without letting them off the hook for their obligations,” Oxford said.
Oxford also said Master Hospitality will not take a management fee this year, essentially agreeing to not net any profit this year.
A representative from Master Hospitality was unavailable for comment Tuesday.
In addition, TRA agreed to buy the road next to the Hilton from Master Hospitality for $150,000. Master Hospitality, as part of the deal, will use the money to make past-due lease payments.

Carlie Kollath/NEMS Daily Journal