An $8 million legislative grant obtained by a partnership between the city of Clinton, Mississippi College, and local developer Ben Walker will lay the foundation for a mixed-use commercial, retail, restaurant, and professional space.
The complex will be located between Highway 80 and Interstate 20 west of Springridge Road in Clinton. Ben Walker will contribute a portion of land directly to the west of Springridge Road and north of the Springridge Shopping Center. Mississippi College will provide the majority of the property, connected to the west by the Choctaws’ practice football field.
Robinson Spring, a natural water source that has long served Clinton residents, and the Leake Family Cemetery will be preserved and not impacted by the development.
Mississippi College President Dr. Blake Thompson, who has envisioned this project for quite some time, believes that it will benefit the university’s students and faculty members.
“This project has been dreamed about for a long time,” Thompson said. “I’m grateful to the City of Clinton, the state of Mississippi, and Ben Walker for joining with us and taking the first step toward making the development a reality. The Speaker, Mayor Phil Fisher, and the Board have been remarkable partners in their support throughout this first stage of the project.”
On July 19, the Clinton Board of Alderman voted to approve the plan for the development. While the city would reap financial benefits via additional sales tax from new businesses, an enhanced property valuation on the area would result in a much larger ad valorem tax.
Chip Wilbanks, member of the Clinton Board of Alderman and Mississippi College graduate, said the development would provide a distinctive visual element for Clinton.
“While it will be exciting for those who live here, we hope to attract visitors as they are passing by on the Interstate, and we hope those living in the Jackson metro area will make an intentional effort to come to Clinton,” Wilbanks said. “This has the potential to be the greatest and most significant development in the City of Clinton in my lifetime.”
In addition, the initiative was promoted by House Speaker Phillip Gunn who incorporated funding for the plan into House Bill 1353. The funds were allocated to support the costs associated with site work, construction, and development of streets, street lighting and signals, electrical and communications distribution systems and equipment, water and sewer system infrastructure, and related infrastructure on the property.