Prospering Projects

Published 1:01 am Sunday, July 24, 2011

Despite the slow economy, evidence of economic development inthe Brookhaven area continues to be seen.

Among the major commercial plans for the city are new DollarGeneral stores being built on Highway 550 in the Loyd Starcommunity and Caleb Drive in the East Lincoln community.

Matthew Rozier, job supervisor of Michael Rozier Construction, saidall is going well with the construction on Highway 550, and heexpects it to be completed by the third week of August.

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“That’s what I’m shooting for,” Rozier said.

Region 8, a mental health services provider, currently has newconstruction on Highway 51 with an almost $5 millionfacility.

Emile Craig, Region 8 director of administration, said constructionis going smoothly.

“From everything I’ve heard and from talking to the architect,we’re right on schedule with construction,” Craig said. “We haven’trun into any problems along the way.”

Craig said he expects construction to be completed around Februaryof 2012.

“We’re looking forward to getting that building completed andcontinuing to serve the folks in Lincoln County,” he said.

Dave Van, the region’s executive director, said the facility willoffer a variety of mental health services from alcohol and drugtreatment to assistance for developmental disabilities. Thefacility will consist of a 30,000 square foot main building and anadditional 5,000 square foot building, according to city BuildingInspector Chip Gennaro.

In other commercial developments, Goody’s department store held itsgrand opening July 13 in what used to be a Stage store on BrookwayBoulevard. Stage is the parent company of Goody’s and several othersmall-market department stores.

Veronica Haraughty, store manager at the new Goody’s, said she isglad to have the new store opening despite the frantic atmosphere amanager can experience that comes with a ribbon cutting and a grandopening.

“I’m kind of in first-day-panic mode,” Haraughty said then.

In residential development, Johnny Lynch is content with how hisproject is going on Whitworth Avenue downtown.

The project is called the Inn at Whitworth, and by the end ofconstruction it will consist of six hotel rooms and a lobby in thefirst floor level and six apartments in the upstairs level.

“I’d love to say Jan. 1,” Lynch said of a completion date. “We areahead of schedule, and I’m very enthusiastic with the way theprogress is going.”

In light of the construction business’ condition in the economy,Lynch is grateful there are workers to build.

“With the state of the economy, I’m thankful we have people to dothe work,” Lynch said.

Everything is pretty much roughed-in, Lynch said.

The downstairs will be a hotel atmosphere with bed-and-breakfastservices, and he said three rooms are primed for paint. Each roomwill include amenities like flat-screen TVs and computer stationsto attract business travelers.

Lynch explained the construction is being done in collaborationwith the Mississippi Department of Archives and History so that thebuilding’s character will be kept intact.

Remodeling on the front of the building is taking up much of thetime.

“It’s slow going work on the front,” Lynch said. “We’re working torestore the front to its original design with a two-door entranceand a brick sidewalk.”

Also true to the building’s original form will be a skylight in thelobby just as in the 1800s, Lynch said.

In other building matters, an assisted-living project downtown hasbeen delayed due to lack of information provided by the contractor,according to Gennaro. A building permit cannot be issued untilsufficient information is submitted to the city inspector’soffice.

“We’re waiting to get information on the subcontractor they’replanning to use,” Gennaro said. “We haven’t gotten anything yet.When we ask them, they don’t ever know.”

Gennaro said while the few major projects under way in the area arecontinuing smoothly, there is not much else happening at thistime.

“That’s pretty much it,” he said. “It’s been pretty quiet.”