EMBDC touts Cooper project at trade show
Special to The Star
March 1, 2002
Lauderdale County economic development officials looked to a planned retirement community while trying to attract the attention of retail developers at a trade show this week.
Representatives from the East Mississippi Business Development Corp. participated in the 2002 Gulf South Alliance Program in Birmingham.
The focal point of the event was the "Meet the Cities Idea Exchange" that involved community exhibits from Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama. The EMBDC booth focused on the Cooper Land Development project.
Cooper's plans call for as many as 3,000 new homes and an 18-hole championship golf course on 1,314 acres of land currently owned by the city of Meridian and located east of Highway 45 including the Long Creek Reservoir and the city-owned Lakeview Golf Course.
The Cooper project caught the attention of several restaurant and shopping center developers.
One retail developer said the project "warrants additional retail development." Another shopping center developer from Alabama said "We will keep our eyes on Meridian."
Meridian real estate professional Bob Malone said the reception the city received "is very encouraging. Based on the comments we heard, the Cooper community will spur new specialty retail in the Meridian area."
This was the EMBDC's first year to participate at the trade show with an exhibit.
The Gulf South Alliance Program is a cooperative effort between the International Council of Shopping Centers and the Economic Development Association of Alabama, the Louisiana Department of Economic Development and the Mississippi Development Authority.
The program presents a chance for community representatives and local officials, retailers and developers to meet, understand one another's needs and develop relationships.