FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Tammy Craft, Public Relations 601.359.6556
Jackson, Miss. (September 7, 2011) – Today, the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) held a Retail Center Revitalization Summit in Jackson, Miss., to roll out the agency’s pilot Retail Center Revitalization Program. The pilot program is designed to test the effectiveness of partnering local units of government with retail center owners to make improvements to certain shopping centers, commonly referred to as “strip malls,” in a way that contributes to ongoing coordinated revitalization efforts in local communities.
The event featured presentations and discussions from Mississippi city planners and developers, and it provided a general overview of the program, as well as best practices from successful redeveloped projects and planning, branding and resource information.
“We have made real progress in helping our communities revitalize their downtown areas, but in many cases, you still have to drive past rundown strip centers to get there,” said MDA Executive Director Leland Speed. “To better attract visitors and economic development projects, we need to look at improving the routes into our communities, as well. MDA’s pilot Retail Center Revitalization Program, which we unveiled today, will help local leaders and property owners, working together, to revamp vacant retail centers that are often found outside of downtown areas.”
Limited grant funds are associated with the pilot Retail Center Revitalization Program, which is designed to support retail center revitalization projects in conjunction with private funding sources. Only Mississippi’s planning and development districts (PDDs) may apply for the grant funds. Awards are limited to a maximum of $50,000.
In order to participate, PDDs must partner with a local unit of government and the owner of the strip center to fund a retail center revitalization project. This local team must contribute a minimum of 50 percent of the total cost of the project. Eligible activities include, but are not limited to, improving a building’s façade, developing green spaces and improving parking areas.
PDDs interested in applying for grant funds or learning more about the pilot Retail Center Revitalization Program may view the funding opportunities announcement (FOA) by visiting: www.mississippi.org, then selecting the Community and Asset Development tab and then “Asset Development Programs” from the menu on the left. From there, select “Retail Center Revitalization Program FOA.” Additionally, PDDs may submit questions in writing via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Mississippi Development Authority
Mississippi Development Authority is the State of Mississippi’s lead economic and community development agency. Nearly 300 employees are engaged in providing services to businesses, communities and workers in the state. While the agency is best known for its efforts to recruit new businesses to Mississippi, the Authority provides services to promote tourism, help communities improve their quality of place, help existing employers identify and meet opportunities and challenges and help workers improve their skills – all with the goal of improving the quality of life and economic well-being of Mississippians. For more information, visit MDA’s website at www.mississippi.org.