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Retail center proposed for West Main in Tupelo

By DENNIS SEID / Daily Journal

TUPELO – A 23,000-square-foot commercial retail center has been proposed at 1507 W. Main Street, where a former Bumpers Drive-In was located.

The development is being leased by Kiamie Real Estate in Oxford.

“The project’s idea comes from a long-standing client of ours, Jackie’s International,” said Brian Carpenter, broker/associate with Kiamie. “They’ve been looking to do something with that property for several years.”

Canton-based Jackie’s International, founded in 1973 by Satnam “Doc” Sethi, is the parent company of Bumpers, Fresh Market Cafe, Fresh Market Grill, Simply Southern Grill and Buffet and several hotels in Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana.

The Bumpers on West Main and South Gloster in Tupelo closed in 2010, ostensibly for remodeling, but the West Main location has remained boarded. The South Gloster location was replaced by a Fresh Market Cafe in 2012.

The exterior of the proposed shopping center will be L-shaped and feature a “classic brick architectural style for the building facade,” according to Kiamie. The concept design was provided by Jackie’s and is subject to change.

Carpenter said the volume of traffic through the area is ideal for a new retail center to be built, and he said Kiamie is looking for a mix of tenants, including retail and restaurants.

“We’re open to local as well as established names,” he said.

Kiamie would like to have a couple of anchors to make the center a destination spot and to attract other tenants.

Carpenter said the old Bumpers location is ideal for a drive-thru restaurant or eatery of some kind. But the building doesn’t have to stay. Carpenter said if a tenant interested in the property wants to do something else with it, they’re willing to negotiate.

The minimum leasable space is 1,080 square feet, with a going rate of $17 per square foot. The proposed project will be done in two phases, with the retail and restaurant space developed first and would be closest to West Main Street. The office space would be the second phase and occupy space on the back of the property.

Construction of the center depends on how many tenants show interest in the project. Jackie’s said it will begin construction once 60 percent of the center is committed by letters of intent.

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