Tupelo's vacant buildings

By Carlie Kollath/NEMS Daily Journal | Photos/Thomas Wells

Tupelo has seen its fair share of vacant buildings after businesses close. Sometimes, the buildings are empty for only a short time until another tenant brings life back into the venue. Other times, the buildings remain empty for weeks or years, becoming an eyesore and a reminder of what once was. – Carlie Kollath

Block Corp., 3406 W. Main St.
• Garment maker Block Corp. filed for bankruptcy protection in April 2009. The building, which previously was owned by Hancock Fabrics, which used it as its headquarters until it moved to Baldwyn in 2004, was put on the auction block, but didn’t sell. Phillip Carpenter of Carpenter Properties is selling the property, which was last listed for more than $3 million.

Trace Inn and Country Hearth Inn, 3400 W. Main St.
• The hotel complex has been vacant for years. Due to hazardous conditions, the city must demolish the buildings. The city must foot the $90,000 demolition bill because the former owners declared bankruptcy. The city is waiting to see if it can buy the property before it tears down the buildings.

Bumpers, 1509 W. Main St., 1155 S. Gloster St.
• Jackie’s International, which owns Bumpers Drive Inn of Tupelo, closed the businesses last summer for remodeling. The businesses have been boarded up since, but the Canton-based company maintains that they are scheduled to be remodeled. In addition, the company owes back taxes of $2,943 on the two locations.

Caney Fork, 713 S. Gloster St.
• Santa Fe Cattle Co. closed the restaurant in September 2009. Caney Fork Restaurant bought the location, but then closed last fall. The location is up for auction. Hilco Real Estate is having a sealed bid sale July 22.

McDonald’s, 519 S. Gloster St.
• The McDonald’s location next to Wendy’s had been open since 1973. It became vacant in September when Hudson Management Corp. opened a newer location at the intersection of South Gloster and President streets. The building is owned by McDonald’s Corp. The company is meeting this week to see what’s in the “best interest of the community” for the building’s future.

Carlock Kia, 716 N. Gloster St.• The business closed two years ago and the building has been vacant since. The building is owned by Dorothy Ruff, the wife of the previous owner, George Ruff, who had an auto dealership there.

Blockbuster, 402 S. Gloster St.• Blockbuster’ franchisee, Twin States Video, closed its Tupelo location in May. Cohen Realty in Memphis is trying to rent out the building.

Peggy’s Place, 451 S. Gloster St.• Peggy’s Place closed in January. Previously, the building was vacant after Guthrie’s Chicken Finger Restaurant abandoned the building. Coldwell Banker currently has the building listed for rent.

Quality Inn, 1011 N. Gloster St.• The doors to the building were chained in May 2010. The business was vacated and guests were redirected to the Microtel. David Graham of South Dakota is listed as owner of both hotels. The company owes back taxes of about $98,500 for the property.

Shoney’s, 706 Hillcrest Dr.• Shoney’s closed May 13. The company at the time said it plans to renovate the building. “We don’t have a projected completion date; however, we are moving forward as quickly as possible,” the press release said.

Success stories

Tellini’s, 504 S. Gloster St.• Tellini’s Pasta Market opened in 2000. The building originally housed a Burger King location.

Metro Ford, 1000 Barnes Crossing Road• Metro Ford is in a building that originally housed Lowe’s. The building became available when Lowe’s moved to its location on North Gloster Street.

Walls Bargain Center, 1708 S. Gloster• Walls Bargain Center opened in 2001. The building originally housed Walmart, before the company moved elsewhere in Tupelo.

Chuck E. Cheese’s, 4383 Mall Dr.• Chuck E. Cheese’s opened in 2008 in the former McDuff’s Electronics building near The Mall at Barnes Crossing. The building previously had been vacant for several years.

Dennis Seid, Emily Le Coz and Cain Madden contributed to this story.

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