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The Costco Controversy: Residents Worry About Traffic, Ruining the Look of the Area

RIDGELAND, Miss.–What if you found out a big box store was coming to your town and wanted to locate in an area where traffic was already a problem and where you’ve gotten used to a certain look. That’s what has people who live in Ridgeland upset about the possible location of a Costco, which would be the first one in Mississippi.

“We are very excited at the prospect of a Costco coming,” said Bess Corbitt, a Ridgeland resident, who was a guest on the Linda Allen Show. “We are very concerned that our exit, the Old Agency Rd. historical exit, that it’s gonaa totally destroy that historical feeling that you get when you exit at that exit.”

Corbitt says she does not believe that the exit, which includes a roundabout, could handle the traffic that would result from having a large store there.

“Why do we continue to cram a square peg in a round hole,” said Corbitt.

Corbitt says she believes Mayor Gene McGee has been less than transparent about where Coctco might locate. So far there has been no official announcement about the store.

“We have not had anything brought forward to us, showing us,” said McGee. “Obviously the developers are talking to a number of tenants. We believe Costco is one of those, obviously because there’s so much out there about it.”

McGee said that the area is being developed as a possible phase II and III for Renaissance, a large outdoor, upscale mall.

McGee said the developers haven’t said anything official for a number of reasons, but there’s one big one.

“Developers are very careful not to tell us everything. We have found out when companies are talked about in the news, when information gets out there before things are put into place, that companies back off and don’t come to areas.”

He said if Costco did want to locate in that area, especially as part of further developments by Renaissance, that it would be beneficial to the city because the company is already familiar with the city’s ordinances and requirements.

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