Boutique hotel, national grocery are part of plan for Flowood development
Aug. 16, 2023
Source: Clarion Ledger, Ross Reily
It has been a long time coming, but the Pinelands development in Flowood can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
The project began more than 20 years ago and the scope of the project has changed numerous times. Ownership has changed as well, and the economic downturns of 2008 and COVID have been speed bumps along the way.
However, with Flowood’s growth eastward along Mississippi 25, the restaurant and commercial market is growing as the industry sees this area as prime real estate especially with new neighborhoods and new families locating nearby.
Of the several hundred acres originally scheduled for development in the early 2000s, when the Mississippi Development Authority approved applications for $48.8 million to build Pinelands Lifestyle Center, there are only around 150 acres left to develop.
"Everything left is zoned for commercial," said Flowood Economic Development Director Daniel Lang. "There will be a 2.6-mile walking path/bicycle path throughout the development."
The drawing card would be a boutique hotel and a national grocery chain that has yet to be announced.
"Nothing is set in stone just yet," Lang said. "We are making sure this will all be the best use of space."
The clearing for the new frontage road, West Pineview Dr. has begun. It will connect Wirtz Road with Hugh Ward Blvd. It will be the twin sister to East Pineview Dr., that connects Hugh Ward behind Walgreens with the Waffle House.
"We have recently closed on five parcels of land for new uses," Lang said. "There are also another 10 that are under contract, fronting Lakeland Drive. We can't wait for all of these roads to be completed so that we can have better access to these restaurants."
Lang went on to say that the feel of the newest part of the development will be bike friendly and walking friendly.
"There will be trails that connect the residential areas to that development so that families can walk or ride their bikes," Lang said. "Even those families that have golf carts will be able to take those to the development. It will really have a great quality-of-life feel."
In another phase, along Hugh Ward Blvd, there will be office buildings as well as restaurants that will feature outdoor patios. All of these will feature bike parking, so residents can ride up from their neighborhoods.
A pond that was originally drained will be refurbished as a water feature that will also include the walking and biking trails.
One of the newest restaurants that will be coming online in October is Smalls Sliders. The Flowood location, owned by Matt Gallagher, along with his son Zack, will be the first Mississippi location for the restaurant chain. The family is expected to open three others in the metro area in the next year or so and have been awarded more franchises for the Gulf Coast area.
The Gallaghers have proven they know how to get successful franchise restaurants up and running in Mississippi. They are already franchise owners for Walk-On's Sports Bistreuxs in Ridgeland, Hattiesburg, Oxford and Covington, Louisiana.
The Smalls in the development will be adjacent to Waffle House.
"Much will be new to Mississippi, which has been our plan," Lang said. "We want to bring much of this, whether it is commercial development or restaurants, to be the first in Mississippi."
Lang said that high interest rates have continued to delay some of the buildout, but that he hopes much of what he is working on to close by the end of the year with construction beginning during 2024.
"We have four parcels along East and West Pineview left to develop, but everything else is either closed or under contract," he said of the first phase.
The second phase of more than 80 acres still needs to be developed, Land said.
"It's hard to say when the entire development will be completed, and we are doing our due diligence," he said. "But it is going to be great when everything is completed."
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