Tupelo opts to keep Green Street property

By Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – The former Hunter Sadler building will remain in city hands after Tupelo leaders rejected a bid for its purchase.
City Council members voted unanimously Tuesday to turn down businessman Frank Garrison’s offer of $151,077. Garrison, of Eagle Horn Inc., was the sole bidder on the property which has been in the city’s possession for at least 40 years.
“I think the lot is worth more than $150,000,” council President Fred Pitts told the Daily Journal. “We should have done more research before accepting bids” because the city can use the property itself.
Pitts said the municipality already stores items inside the building, which is an old apparel manufacturing facility on the corner of South Green Street and Crossover Drive.
It has been vacant since early last year when Oxford Industries, which had bought out Hunter Sadler, moved its operations from the building. At that time, the company terminated its lease with the city.
The building also was sometimes called Lanier, which is an Oxford Industries clothing line.
After abandoning an idea to convert the space into a homeless shelter, the council agreed this spring to sell the site to the highest bidder through an open bid process. It’d accept no less than $150,000, according to the resolution.
Even though Garrison offered more than the minimum requirement, the council had no legal obligation to accept it, said city attorney John Hill.
Garrison declined to say what he had planned for the property, but he said it would have been put to use through his marketing and consulting business.
Contact Emily Le Coz at (662) 678-1588 or emily.lecoz@journalinc.com.