By Robbie Ward/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Taking another step in a three-year neighborhood redevelopment project, Tupelo City Council voted Tuesday to buy a second blighted property along West Jackson Street.
The City Council voted 6-1 to purchase the property at 1124 W. Jackson St. for $15,000. Mayor Jack Reed Jr. said after the City Council meeting the property appraised for $19,000.
With this property acquisition, the city advances its $1.83 million plan to improve the neighborhood between North Gloster Street and Joyner Avenue.
In January, the city bought blighted apartments at the corner of West Jackson and Clayton Avenue and later relocated families living there.
Reed said the redevelopment project will add value to the city overall.
“It’s a great area but has old houses that have become so dilapidated that it’s hurt the property around there,” he said. “It’s such an important piece of the city.”
Ward 3 Councilman Jim Newell was the lone dissenter in the vote and declined to comment on it after the meeting.
Along with property acquisition, the city also plans to raze blighted buildings and improve utility infrastructure and streetscape in phases.
Open lots created in the redevelopment plan will be sold to private developers who build homes aimed at middle-income families.
In recent years, city leaders have prioritized the need for newer housing for middle-income families. To help find the best ideas for the West Jackson redevelopment, city officials have worked with contractors, architects, developers and real estate agents to find the best options for cottage-style homes that blend into nearby Gravlee and Joyner neighborhoods.