Tupelo logs another record building year
By Philip Moulden
Tupelo issued building permits for a record $67 million in construction in 1995, the second consecutive year of record building.
The $66,987,979 in proposed construction was slightly better than the $66,730,943 recorded in 1994, and was 15 percent higher than the next highest figure, $58 million logged in 1992.
The figure included almost $18 million in new commercial building and more than $26 million in commercial additions and renovations.
“Our businesses are doing a good job; the Community Development Foundation is doing a good job,” City Planner Fred Rogers said of the commercial growth.
Most of the commercial construction remains in the Barnes Crossing area and along North Gloster Street, where several new restaurants and various retail businesses have gone up in the past year. Commercial expansions and new buildings were also going up on the city’s other three sides.
“The mall area is still doing very good, but it (growth) is not limited to just that area,” Rogers noted.
Residential building also occurred on all four points of the compass, although the major work last year was to the west and northwest, Rogers said. The city issued permits for 231 single-family units totaling more than $18.5 million and representing an estimated population increase of 700 people.
“From a residential standpoint, it happened on all sides of the city. The 231 (single-family) starts was very good. If you took out last year’s exceptional number (298 single-family units), the 231 would be the second highest we’ve ever had,” he said.
The city’s growth has been increasing significantly since 1988, when the $43 million in construction reflected a 48 percent jump from the previous year.
Construction values jumped to $55.3 million in 1989, slipped to about $51 million in both 1990 and 1991, then hit $58.1 million the next year. It slipped again, to $53.4 million, in 1993.
Barring casino-associated work on the coast and Mississippi River and construction in Jackson, which is many times larger than Tupelo, local growth has consistently out paced that in other Mississippi cities in recent years, officials said.
“Every year you really can’t expect to maintain the same pace,” Rogers said. “You can’t have a record year every year, but in the last few years that’s basically what has been happening.”