Traffic a concern for proposed Southaven outlet mall - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Traffic a concern for proposed Southaven outlet mall

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    Friday, October 4 2013 3:43 PM EDT2013-10-04 19:43:45 GMT
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SOUTHAVEN, Miss. (FOX13) -

The city of Southaven is taking a new look at how it's going to pay off the first phase of the outlet shops of the Mid-South and it should save some major bucks by paying the debt off early.
 
Traffic at the proposed site of the outlet mall at Church and I-55 is still a concern.

Church and I-55 is one of those spots where it's already congested and already has problem spots. Then add that to a mall that is going to pull people in regionally.

Mayor Darren Musselwhite said he'll be more than happy to take the traffic. He openly admits there have been a lot of hurdles along the way to making sure the Outlet Shops of The Mid-South is built at Church and I-55.

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"Oh, absolutely, what a lot of people don't know this, but this has taken up an enormous amount of my time in the short time as mayor because, because this was being discussed before I took office and when I took office," the mayor said.

Mr. Musselwhite said the city initially had planned to pay off the first phase of the $115 million mall over 20 years, but the city has rethought that and instead submitted a proposal to the Mississippi Development Authority that would have the city's obligations to the mall paid off in just five years using sales tax revenue.
 
"So after that we totally shifted gears and pursued that route, so it's taken an awful lot of time," Mayor Musselwhite said. "There have been a lot of stumbling blocks in the way but we are excited and hopefully it gets approved by the MDA and it will be a great thing."

Then there is the other issue. The issue of traffic at Church and I-55.

"You know, with any development you got to be conscious of the traffic issue," the mayor said. "Is it a concern? Yes, it's a major concern, but that's just as I tell people. There is a way to have no traffic, and that is to have no business, so you have got to keep that philosophy in mind.

"Traffic is a natural challenge in any kind of development," Mayor Musselwhite added. "Hopefully we will be able to work with MDOT and figure a way to handle this traffic and make it all work."

Mayor Musselwhite said the city plans to five-lane many of the roads just east of the outlet mall site to help relieve traffic congestion there.

The new outlet mall is to be finished sometime around Thanksgiving or Christmas in 2015.

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