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Group’s goal? Adding to Highway 51’s retail vitality

It’s not just the road improvements that are changing the look of U.S. 51 in Ridgeland. A newly-formed company called Old Fifty One, LLC, is creating a more appealing look for the stretch of road, as well as adding to a thriving retail area.

Mark Doiron, Tommy Harkins, Jody Morgan and Frank Pucylowski opened Gaslamp Village where a Chinese restaurant once stood in 2006.

“We were full in less than 10 months,” says Doiron.

The group bought a portion of the Log Village center next door for overflow parking, and bought the remainder of the center this summer. The plans are to demolish the entire Log Village center and rebuild in the same style as the existing Gaslamp Village.

Limiting business interruptions

“There are some very viable tenants in the Log Village, and we don’t want to do anything to disrupt their business,”

Doiron says. “We’ll demolish the areas in the back first, and rebuild there, then move the tenants from the front to the back. Then we’ll complete the part of the project that fronts Highway 51. There will be six ways to get into the center.”
Doiron says that the new development will have 52,200 square feet, and so far 31,000 square feet has been pre-leased. “We’ve been really pleased with the response.”

He explains that the center will be located approximately one mile from Renaissance at Colony Park, which will create great synergy for Gaslight Village. “We’re the perfect solution to someone who wants to do business in this area, but they don’t want to — or can’t — pay the higher rent. Our price per square foot is highly competitive. Being positioned on Highway 51, which has an incredible traffic count, is a strong draw. With the ball fields so close by, as well as schools and other developments, it has become a major commercial corridor. And since the road has been widened to five lanes, it can handle even more traffic.”

Perfect position?

One of the tenants moving to the new center will be L Signs.

Owner Sonny Pryor moved the 29-year-old business from downtown Jackson to Brandon recently.

“We have a huge warehouse there, where we manufacture large signs,” says Pryor. “We’ll keep that location, but we are going to open a retail location in Gaslamp Village. People can place sign orders there, and also get other printed items such as t-shirts, magnetic signs for vehicles and more.”

Pryor says that he believes the center is positioned perfectly “on the outbound side of Highway 51, when people are heading home.”

He says that having his sign out front alone with so many people driving by would be worth the rent.

Plans for the future

The new section of Gaslamp Village will look very much like the existing one, but with more windows.
“It will have a two-story section in the back, and the front will be one level,” Doiron explains. “There will also be three outparcels. We expect it to do real well. Everyone knows Log Village, and the location is just ideal.”

The group also recently purchased the Oak Place center across the street.

“It’s completely full right now, so we’re really just trying to figure out what to do. For starters, we’re going to spruce the place up and do some parking lot work,” Doiron says. “We’re just happy that we are doing our part to improve the look of the area, and add to the vitality of Ridgeland.”

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