By RAY VAN DUSEN / Monroe Journal

ABERDEEN – Following the same idea of how the Elkin Theatre was purchased by numerous families in the 1980s, Aberdeen Main Street Director Ann Tackett is leading an effort to potentially purchase the former Parkway Hotel and restore it to its prime.

The hotel is currently occupied by the Tombigbee Inn alongside Commerce Street.

“Aberdeen used to have a very beautiful hotel called the Parkway, and it has gone down and declined. At one point in the late ‘50s, early ‘60s, a motel was added, and it has declined,” she said. “In order to improve the aesthetics downtown, Main Street is planning to purchase the hotel from the current owner at the price of $150,000. We can do this and we intend to destroy the motel rooms and return the main hotel spot into a destination as it was in its prime.”

She said the hotel’s potential uses include meeting space for the local, county and federal court systems; a spa; high-end restaurant; reception space; coffee shop; and living space upstairs.

“We’ve applied for historic tax credits and we are qualified for that through the National Park Service and we will qualify for state credits,” Tackett said.

Tackett said individuals and groups are welcome to lend financial support towards the purchase, which are tax deductible through Aberdeen Main Street’s 501(C) (3).

“We’re going to have $2,500 donations and have 25 payments of $100 taken out of your account or you can give. If you want to give $50,000, knock yourself out. There’s no cap on it,” Tackett said. “We’re going to reach out to people who aren’t just local people; I need the people who used to live here but still seem to love their town.”

She said 60 pledging units at $2,500 each will cover the cost of the hotel’s purchase. Additional funding will be required to restore the building.

Columbus developer Chris Chain of Renovations of Mississippi is working with Tackett in developing a plan.

“He’s kind of the guru in surrounding states in these renovations. He’s known for taking properties like this and bringing in developers. We’d love to think someone will come in, whether it’s a hotel or an air B&B, and lease the property.

“This will enhance our downtown area, and Main Street will drive the train,” Tackett said.

For more information, call Tackett at 319-7183.