RIDGELAND - The Mississippi Development Authority has approved two applications for developers seeking tax rebates for building shopping malls, including the second phase of the Renaissance at Highland Colony.

MDA approved the application of partners H.C. Bailey Co. and developer Mattiace Properties' plan to build a $98.7 million extension, and granted $29.6 million in incentives.

The plan would double the size of the existing mall, adding 330,000 square feet of retail space.

The developers have hinted that the final project may not reflect what was proposed, but with a looming June 30 deadline to take advantage of the law that offers the incentives, it only made sense to go ahead and get approved.

"There is a good possibility we won't ever qualify," Mattiace Properties President Andrew Mattiace told the Associated Press Monday. "The question is whether we're ever going to attempt to build something that big."

The other application approved last week was a plan to invest $162.5 million in Pinelands Shopping Center in Flowood, which is being headed by Freedom Real Estate out of Slidell, La.

That project is eligible for $48.8 million in sales tax breaks, bringing the state's total tab for one-year law to $233 million - if the projects are built to scale and receive all the incentives.

The law requires that developers spend at least $50 million on a retail center with at least 50 tenants and 300,000 square feet. Mattiace Properties and H.C. Bailey Co. would have to spend at least $1 million to promote Mississippi's arts and culture or offer MDA space for tourism promotion for a decade.

If the project's application met the specifics, it was automatically approved. Lawmakers declined to extend the offer for another year during the last legislative session.