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Tupelo business owners create new district in city

Reported by: Tyler Hill
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Updated: 10/16/2013 10:17 pm
TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) - Some business owners in one part of the All America City are taking strides to make a name for themselves.

Over 20 businesses near Industrial and Varsity roads have joined what will be called, "The Midtown District."

When you drive around the city of Tupelo, most business districts have a distinct name, such as Downtown or the Barnes Crossing District.

But when it comes to the area around Industrial and Varsity, it's just that - an area.

Some business owners said they're tired of not having a distinct name, so they're doing something about it.

"We decided that it had to have its own identity," said Staggs Interior Owner Kelly Holcomb. "Everybody knows our different shops, but they really don't know the district that we're in, so we came up with idea of calling it the Midtown District."

The idea first floated around nearly two years ago.

"A group of us got together and decided this was the best thing to do," Holcomb said.

It soon caught fire with other business owners.

"The Midtown name, to me, defines this location," said Flowerdale Marketplace Owner Alice Rogers. "It gives us an image that can be planted in people's minds to help them remember us as a shopping destination."

To create that image, organizers bought banners to hang along the streets, but they're not stopping there.

"I have great dreams for Midtown," Rogers said.

Organizers have enlisted city officials to help spruce up the area.

"We're gonna be doing a three year program," said Tupelo Public Works Department Horticulturist David Knight. "We'll be adding different types of trees, and we're gonna add some new rails."

Rogers said she imagines the district having an association, especially during holidays.

"I can see street lights," she said. "I can see lights at Christmas. I can see people walking in the area."

Rogers said because the area is relatively newer compared to other parts of the city, "We don't have a lot of historic buildings that have a lot of charm and character."

Therefore, she said it's their job to show what local shops in the area can offer.

"We're all interested in serving our customers and attracting more people to this area," Rogers said. "The more we band together and work together, the more we're able to accomplish."

Midtown will officially become a new district on October 24 after a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
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