By TAYLOR VANCE / Daily Journal

TUPELO  City officials are partnering with a development company to bring a four-story boutique hotel that will house at least 80 rooms and a restaurant to the downtown area.

The Tupelo City Council voted to enter into a contract agreement with Thrash Group, LLC, a hotel development industry based out of Hattiesburg, to sell city-owned property to the company to construct the hotel.

Mayor Jason Shelton told the Daily Journal after the council meeting Tuesday that the vote might have seemed like a mundane action, but this contract is something that has been in the works for five years or more by multiple city and state departments in order to bring more economic activity to the area.

“We’ll have the additional impact of allowing us to become more competitive in the convention business while also recruiting economic development,” Shelton said.

The hotel will be in the downtown area on the corner of East Main Street and Monaghan Street located just north of Fairpark Towers, west of Mugshots Grill and Bar, east of Tommy Morgan Inc. Realtors and across from the Hilton Garden Inn.

Debbie Brangenberg, the director of the Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association, said a lot of the work has been conducted through the Tupelo Redevelopment Agency. The agency decided to purchase a plot of land from Bank Plus and look at ways to redevelop that property.

“The boutique hotel, in looking at Tupelo and Fairpark, wanted to explore the possibilities of that lot, and they came back with a concept that fits the overall master plan and design criteria. And, they put in a purchase agreement to purchase that property,” Brangenberg said.

She said the hotel coming to the downtown area fits into the vision the city has had for downtown Tupelo since the early 90s.

“Tupelo is very fortunate in the fact that our downtown actually had 50 acres of property adjacent to downtown that was developable,” she said. “And, it only complemented the investment already made. We are only reaping the benefits of that long-term vision we’ve had for the area.”

The city purchased the property from Bank Plus for $500,000 and the Thrash Group will purchase the property from TRA for $300,000.

“This does leverage a $16 million project for future tax rolls,” Brangenberg said.

Joe Thrash, a partner at the Thrash Group, said in a statement that his company is thrilled to be a part of the Tupelo community.

“The location of this hotel is at a landmark corner in Tupelo, a gateway into downtown,” Thrash said. “The hotel will extend a warm welcome for travelers coming to Tupelo, giving them a taste of true Mississippi hospitality.”

The company will start surveying the area and developing plans for the hotel. Both parties have 90 days to back out of the agreement, and both parties will close on the contract on Nov. 4.