City seeing increase in building work

Published 5:00 am Friday, May 11, 2001

As the temperatures start to rise with the approach of summer,so too is building activity picking up in and around Brookhaven,officials said.

“It was slow in the spring, but it’s starting to bloom,” saidSteve Moreton, city building inspector.

While business-related work took the forefront in 2000,home-building activity is getting attention recently.

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“Commercial was outstanding last year, but residential ispicking up now,” Moreton said.

On the residential side, the third of three townhouses beingbuilt on West Chickasaw Street is under way and the new Fisher Parkdevelopment off Halbert Heights Road has seen its third housebegun. Also, Moreton mentioned the purchase of a number of lots forhome development in a subdivision off Ingram Street in northBrookhaven.

Commercial activity is still visible across town.

In retail business construction, site work has begun on the newKrystal on Brookway Boulevard and the restaurant is expected to becompleted around August. Also, a Donut Palace will be moving intothe former Clear Branch Ice Cream Parlor on Monticello Street,Moreton said.

“They’ve put up some walls and it’s being remodeled,” Moretonsaid.

Several retail establishments have moved or are planning tomove, Moreton said.

Brookhaven Hardware has moved from its Monticello Streetlocation to the former Buy-Rite site in the old Coca-Cola buildingon Highway 51, Moreton said.

“They’ve done a lot down there. It’s nice,” Moreton said, addingthat Buy-Rite is moving to a new location on Brookway BoulevardExtension.

Quality 10-Minute Oil Change on Brookway Boulevard is adding acar wash service and looking to move to Highway 51.

In professional services areas, Moreton said Baker-Patrick isconstructing a new accounting services building on Johnny JohnsonDrive near some other new developments there. A new medical artsclinic is being built on Silver Cross Drive, he added.

Government-related work remains a highly-visible area ofbuilding activity.

A $958,000 renovation to the Lincoln County Public Library hasbegun and should be completed in about eight months. The finishingtouches are being put an agricultural services office building onJohnny Johnson Drive and the agencies should move in in earlyJune.

Restoration work on existing Whitworth College buildings iscontinuing and construction crews have moved on site to startconstruction of the first tower of the Student Life Center for theMississippi School of the Arts. Crews Wednesday were drilling65-feet deep holes for pilings for the eight-story building.

The Student Life Center work is an $8.5 million project that isexpected to be completed in November 2002.

Moreton said the state is overseeing construction of thebuilding. While the city is not directly involved, city officialsare making accommodations and providing assistance wheneverneeded.

“We’re helping all we can,” Moreton said.

In other state-related work, a new National Guard Armory onHighway 84 is about ready to open.

In the same area, state officials are planning a new MississippiHighway Patrol substation. Dist. 92 Rep. Dr. Jim Barnett said theDepartment of Finance and Administration is advertising for bids onthe project this week.

“In a month, we should have the contract let for that,” Barnettsaid.

For the future, Moreton forecast continued construction activityaround town. He said another interest rate reduction underconsideration could help.

“Overall, as far as the economy growing, it’s still bright,”Moreton said, stressing the need for citizens to remain optimisticand positive.