Construction shoots up with new projects in city

Published 6:00 am Thursday, April 4, 2002

Construction activity in Brookhaven picked up in the firstquarter of 2002 as building permits were issued for more than $1.4million in projects, said Building Inspector Steve Moreton.

Site preparation and other activity has created some buzz aroundtown as work begins. Moreton said building permits had been issuedfor some projects while plans were still pending on others.

“With these projects coming out of the ground, constructionactivity is perking up,” Moreton said about the work, whichincludes building repairs, new additions and new construction.

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Brookway Boulevard is the site of several projects.

At the intersection of Brookway and Turnbough, Oddee Smith andSons crews have started dirt work on a new Blockbuster Video. Theapproximately 4,000 square foot building is estimated at$140,000.

“They’re taking the excess dirt from there and putting over thebox culvert they’re finishing at Whitworth,” Moreton said,referring to the company’s project for the Mississippi School ofthe Arts.

A completion date on the new video store was not known.

Also on Brookway, Moreton said a permit has been issued for$270,000 remodeling and renovation of the old Delchamps buildingfor a new Fred’s Super Dollar Store. The new store will occupyabout two-thirds of the building with the remainder left open for apossible future tenant.

“They’re starting to tear out and remove walls,” Moretonsaid.

The Fred’s store on South Whitworth Avenue will remain open.

“They’re not closing this store,” said Manager Nellie Smith.

Smith and Moreton did not have a completion date for the newstore.

Some site work has also begun on a new retail center on BrookwayBoulevard between Shoney’s and Cracker Barrel. CeCe’s Pizza is onebusiness expected to locate in the new shopping center, beingdeveloped by Keith White and under contract to R.K. WallaceConstruction Company, Moreton said.

A permit for the building has not been issued but a contractorhas started dirt work and begun construction of a retention wallfor the property. Moreton said the project will require a lot ofdirt fill work to make the ground level.

An interesting aspect of the project will be an underground piperetention area. Moreton said the pipe will be located under thebuilding’s parking lot and will hold water until it can be releasedinto a drainage ditch behind properties in that area.

“The water will collect, and it will discharge slowly,” Moretonsaid.

Wallace is also handling construction of a new office complex onHighway 51 near the hospital.

“Both of those are big improvements,” Moreton said.

Nearby on Highway 51, Moreton said Brookhaven OB/GYN Associatesis expanding to add exam area space and increase the building to6,300 square feet. Paul Jackson and Son is handling that project,estimated at $477,000, Moreton said.

In monthly totals, Moreton said January permitted work totaled$192,300, with Blockbuster accounting for most of that. InFebruary, permits for $700,176 of estimated building work wereissues, with the OB/GYN addition representing about two-third ofthat.

The new Fred’s was responsible for more than half of $509,140 inMarch permitted work totals, Moreton said. He mentioned, though,that permits for $192,000 in residential building additions werealso issued during the month.

In addition to the box culvert work, construction of theMississippi School of the Arts’ Student Life Center is progressing.City officials, however, are not directly involved in the stateconstruction project.

Outside the city, Moreton said work on the new MississippiHighway Patrol substation is moving forward. The city bought anddonated land for that project that started in late 2001.

Among recently-completed projects, Moreton was impressed withthe remodeled Brookhaven High School building. Two new wings wereadded and the main building renovated in the approximately $11million project.

“I think they made a new young lady or of a grand old lady,”Moreton said.

Moreton pointed out some improvements, including a new storefront, at Brookhaven Rent-All on Highway 51.

“That was a good addition,” Moreton said.