TRA to sell land for Fairpark restaurant

By Carlie Kollath/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Fairpark developers are set today to complete their first land sale in two years.
The Tupelo Redevelopment Agency on Wednesday agreed to sign a sales contract with Slow’s Eateries, which plans to build a restaurant next to the Renasant Center for IDEAs.
Franchisees with Oby’s previously owned the lot, which faces Main Street. TRA bought the land back nearly two years ago from Oby’s for $265,800 after the franchisees didn’t develop it.
On Wednesday, the TRA board agreed to sell the land to Slow’s Eateries for $230,000. The contract is expected to be signed today. Slow’s Eateries is owned by Johnny Robbins, owner of Papa V’s in Fairpark, and his brother, Ben.
TRA Chairman John Oxford said this will be the first land sale in Fairpark since the St. Jude Dream Home two years ago. The lack of activity was a driving factor in the lower price for Slow’s Eateries, he said.
“It’s a really good deal to get this property back on the taxpayer roll,” he said. “The franchise potential is very good for Fairpark.”
Robbins said Wednesday he is working on a franchise agreement with a well-known Mississippi-based restaurant. He hopes to finalize the deal and announce the name soon.
The Daily Journal’s policy is not to announce the name of a business until paperwork is signed or is publicly filed with the city or governing agency.
Robbins said the proposed business will be a sit-down, casual restaurant with a sports bar atmosphere.
It will be two stories and about 6,000 square feet. Initial plans call for upstairs to have a small stage for live music, he said.
He’s already hired an architect and a designer.
“I’m getting a lot of encouragement,” he said. “People are excited about it. I think it will definitely complement what’s going on down there.”
carlie.kollath@journalinc.com