October 20, 2005

Business growth coming to city
• Construction starts soon on new 35,000 square foot shopping center


Passers-by should see building construction in mid-November at the new Holly Springs Commons.

The first phase of the project adjacent to highways 7 and 78 includes 16 acres. Construction of a 35,000 square foot shopping center, an auto parts store and a fast food restaurant is scheduled to start November 15, according to Lance Forsdick Jr., a managing member of Kenlan Development in Memphis, Tenn.

“That’s what we have lined up so far,” Forsdick said last week. “Once we get some momentum, the first 16 acres should develop out quickly.”

Within the 16 acres, there will be an additional six out-parcels available.

He estimates construction of both the auto parts store and the fast food restaurant to take three months, while the retail center should be finished in six to eight months.

The shopping plaza will be “your typical neighborhood center,” Forsdick said. “We already have a couple of leases signed, and a couple pending.”

Holly Springs Commons will eventually grow to 200 acres.

Kenlan Development is in charge of the plan for the first 16 acres, and the balance of the property is being planned by the Kenneth Farrell Company of Memphis.

“The 16 acres will be a gateway to an additional 184 acres, which will include a medical park, residential, along with other retail and restaurants,” Forsdick said.

He said a movie theater is still possible.

“It has become a tougher sale,” Forsdick said.

He said the likelihood of a theater has decreased because of the current status of the business, plus since negotiations began about Holly Springs, two new theaters are set for Oxford and one in Olive Branch.

“The site here is caught in a squeeze play,” Forsdick said. “It’s still possible, but it would be a scaled-back version.”

He said Kenlan Development wanted to be an early part of Marshall County’s growth.

“We felt like in Holly Springs in particular and in the county in general, that we had an opportunity to grow through the efforts of the economic development folks,” Forsdick said. “We wanted to be in the early stages (of the growth).”

He also said the site is great, due to its proximity to busy highways 7 and 78 (Future I-22).

Kenlan is developing a site in Oxford with “similar tenants,” Forsdick said.

“Oxford’s is a little ahead of this one,” he said. “There is excitement there.”

Other developments are in Tupelo, Columbus and Marian, Ark.

“We have four other developments (in addition to Holly Springs) where we’re taking similar approaches – locating in secondary markets and tying up the best piece of ground,” Forsdick said.

The City of Holly Springs continues to work with Kenlan Development on the project, last week focusing on utilities, according to Don Hollingsworth with the city’s utility department.

There was also a meeting set for last week concerning the medical park.

And local legislators continue to work on funding assistance.

“We’re trying to move right along,” Hollingsworth said.

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