Madison town square planning resumes

Madison town square planning resumes


MADISON — A town hall was held Tuesday for the city to receive community input on plans to build out a downtown development on 17 acres at the intersection of Main Street and U.S. 51. 

The city partnered with Mississippi State University’s Fred Carl Jr. Small Town Center to get feedback on what is wanted for the future town square.

Residents were able to look at numerous renderings of offerings for the town square ranging from grab-and-go eateries to trails and fine dining. 

Residents were able to put stickers on amenities and options they liked the most. 

The results will be taken back to MSU where they will assist in putting together a master plan the city can use as a foundation for future development. 

In January 2020, Madison Mayor Mary Hawkins Butler unveiled plans for Madison at Main, which she dubbed as the city’s “crown jewel,” that would feature everything from shops and restaurants to an entertainment center. 

Three months later, COVID-19 shut down Mississippi and much of the world, and with that, plans for Madison at Main.

“COVID dealt us a major blow and now we have to rethink the usage,” Hawkins-Butler said. “As we all know, office space was affected and so many people are working remotely. So, we’re looking at more residential and more retail.”

She added, “We’re re-evaluating our goals to meet the market.”

Hawkins-Butler said partnering with MSU allows the city to restart the project through a new lens. 

Greenstone Properties of Atlanta, which originally signed up to partner with the city on the development after a rigorous RFP process, is no longer going to be associated with the project, the mayor said. 

The historic Madison-Ridgeland High School and old gymnasium, both designated historic landmarks, have been preserved, with the former being converted into the new City Hall. 

Hawkins-Butler on Wednesday called the town square project the “heartbeat” of the city and is one of a number of developments currently underway. 

The Villages at Madison, an 18-acre development located off Main Street and Crawford Street has several homes currently built.

Also under development is The Magnolia District, a 71,000-square-foot development in central downtown Madison adjacent to the town square property. It will feature luxury retail, fine dining, and professional office space. 

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