By JACK WEATHERLY
If Ridgeland doesn’t want Costco, Jackson does.
That’s what Jackson Mayor Tony Yarber said Tuesday night at a homeowners association meeting.
Seeing Ridgeland residents’ opposition to the wholesaler, Jackson contacted Costco Monday and sent information to the Seattle-based company about the building soon to be vacated by Best Buy, Yarber told the Heatherwood Area Homeowners Association at Trinity Presbyterian Church on Old Canton Road.
Best Buy will become the second major retailer to leave the County Line Road corridor within 90 days of each other.
Sam’s Club left the Ridgewood Court shopping center in early August, after constructing a store in Madison.
Best Buy gave notice on Monday that it will vacate the store in the same shopping center.
Yarber led an effort last year to land Costco on Lakeland Boulevard, but the city planning commission rejected a rezoning proposal.
Jackson is facing a shrinking tax base, and as a result a $15 million shortfall in its budget. Yarber and the City Council are at loggerheads as they face a budget that must be set by Oct. 1.
The council has proposed about milions of dollars in budget cuts.
Yarber recently suggested, among other things, an 8 percent tax increase, though Tuesday night that he is withdrawing that proposal.
Yarber also said Tuesday that the city is talking with businesses along Interstate 55 about forming a tax increment financing, or TIF, district to promote growth.
County Line Road, long the dominant metro Jackson retail corridor, including Northpark Mall, has been losing stores to newer centers in Madison, Ridgeland and Flowood in recent years.
Yarber gave a quick rundown on the history of malls in the city. Jackson Mall was the first, which succumbed to Metrocenter Mall, which succumbed to Northpark.
The Jackson Mall became the Jackson Medical Mall and the Metrocenter Mall has gotten new life under new owners as of last year.
Northpark Mall’s owners, the Simon Property Group, said earlier this year that it is “laser focused” on improving the center and that its occupancy rate is about 96 percent.
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