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Nicholas: CottonMill deal to close mid-January

Magnolia Marketplace just wrapped up a phone conversation with Mark Nicholas, whose Ridgeland-based Nicholas Properties is one of the developers of CottonMill Marketplace, the giant mixed-use project in Starkville.

We played phone tag with Nicholas last week when we were trying to run him down for the CottonMill update we had in this week’s MBJ. We caught him this morning as he was driving to Starkville.

Here’s what Nicholas told us:

He expects to close on the financing on or close to Jan. 15. Construction would begin almost immediately afterward.

“It’s going to happen,” said Nicholas, who’s been working on CottonMill for more than three years. “Nothing about this has been easy. The combination of funding we’ll use — bonds, grants, tax credits, TIF — it takes a while to pull all that together. But there’s not much that can stop it now.”

The two phases of the project will total about $120 million. The first phase will include the renovation of the old E.E. Cooley Building into office space and a conference center, a parking deck and the construction of a hotel and a restaurant. The second phase will include student housing and retail space. Nicholas said he expects construction to last about 18 months.

A log cabin on the southeast part of the site that once housed a Burker King will be disassembled. Nicholas said he sold the cabin to Jackson attorney and real estate developer John Arthur Eaves, who has plans to erect the cabin in Oxford, though it’s unclear what it will be once it arrives.

So that’s where we are. We’ll have more updates about this once it gets closer to the second week of January.

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