Highland Colony Parkway bustling with development

by Lynne W. Jeter

Published: August 29,2005

Highland Colony Parkway continues to pump up the economy for the nearly eight-mile stretch it traverses in Madison County from West County Line Road to Highway 463 in Madison.

“Highland Colony Parkway is experiencing a tremendous momentum of new construction,” said Stewart Speed, president of Colony Properties, LLC, a subsidiary of the H.C. Bailey Company that began acquiring land in the 1950s through which the parkway routes. “We’re optimistic that as additional components of the parkway come online, the momentum will increase even more. A variety of planned land uses is coming to fruition, and it’s becoming a complete community with the advent of retail and residential and medical amenities to go along with office space.”

Mattiace Properties and Colony Properties are collaborating on Old Agency Square, a 500,000-square-foot retail lifestyle center located between Old Agency Road and Steed Road in Ridgeland. Groundbreaking is expected later this year, said Speed.

Colony Properties obtained a variance from the City of Ridgeland to construct a building as high as eight stories on property immediately north of Old Agency Square, but Speed declined to discuss that particular project.

“We have two Class A office buildings under construction that should be delivered in the first quarter of 2006,” he said. “We’re working on 300 Concourse, a three-story, 75,000-square-foot building, and 100 Renaissance, a three-story, 50,000-square-foot building. Both buildings have seen significant pre-leasing activity to professional corporate users, who will be announced in the next few months. We think those buildings will be the highest quality office buildings in the Jackson metro area, period.”

Kerioth Corporation has development activity along the parkway, including The Township at Colony Park, a uniquely master-planned, mixed-use community located on a 95-acre tract at Steed Road in Ridgeland.

In 2004, four building permits were issued with Highland Colony addresses:

• Hanover Trading Company, LLC. Located at 623 Highland Colony in Ridgeland, the 20,400-square-foot store is valued at $1.2 million.

• 625 Parkway Building, LLC. Located at 625 Highland Colony in Ridgeland, the 46,100-square-foot facility is valued at $1.8 million.

• Fire Station No. 4. Located at 567 Highland Colony in Ridgeland, the 8,700-square-foot building is valued at $1.58 million.

• Township Retail No. 2. Located at 1109 Highland Colony in Ridgeland, the 12,000-square-foot center is valued at $1.25 million.

Community leaders anxious to improve the quality of life in Madison have also been fostering growth of a medical community along the parkway. The latest project is Highland Medical Arts, a $15 million, 80,000-square-foot complex being built by a group of physicians on a 6.8-acre cul-de-sac site across the street from Broadmoor Baptist Church. It should be completed in 2006.

“Roughly half of the land along the parkway is uncommitted,” said Speed. “We’re finding the density is higher than originally anticipated, so we’re revisiting our master plan to reflect the higher density with taller buildings closer together and more retail. We’ve been so pleased with the demand.”

The popularity of the parkway has spurred activity surrounding it. By year-end, infrastructure and roadwork will be completed for a $500-million, 280-acre master-planned development on Galleria Parkway, just east of Interstate 55. It will feature the upscale residential neighborhood, Fontanelle, and a Galleria complex.

A six-story luxury hotel will anchor the Galleria, with two three-story wings, both totaling 500,000 square feet, and featuring retail and restaurant space on the first floor, and Class A office space on the second and third levels. The outskirts will house additional restaurant and retail space, plus buildings with Class A office space measuring 5,000 to 10,000 square feet.

“I’ve never seen this amount of work done so fast and so completely,” said Buck Covington, president of marketing for Parkway Development. “We’ve received responses from about 75 retailers who have Madison on their radar screen. South Madison County has good housing, good growth, good bank deposits, good income, and all these things retailers and developers really love.”

The cities of Ridgeland and Madison and the Madison County Board of Supervisors collaborated on the $10-million public/private joint venture parkway to open up new areas of Madison County for access and development. Special legislation passed in 1989 allowed the four-lane north/south corridor to be built through a grant from supervisors, along with $600,000 from Ridgeland.

“This 7.8 miles of gently rolling parkway is a source of pride and a vital resource for growth and development in our county,” said Tim Coursey, executive director of the Madison County Economic Development Authority.

Contact MBJ contributing writer Lynne W. Jeter at lwjeter@yahoo.com.

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