Southaven’s Oldest Business District Sees New Life

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(Southaven, MS) Colleen Brown could have opened her new Main Street Pizza anywhere in Southaven.

Brown chose to put her restaurant in the City’s oldest commercial district, instead of the newer high-traffic, high-growth areas, ”There’s all kinds of businesses over there, I didn’t like it over there and we’ve had it before and people need to come this way to kinda bring old clientele back here”.

She says nearby neighborhoods are bringing her plenty of business.

Other business owners have noticed also.

In the last several months, business and property owners have built new buildings and spruced up existing ones for businesses looking for new opportunities.

For years, Southaven businesses flocked to Goodman Road to the point that it’s nearly saturated.

Add to that higher rents, and it’s no surprise business owners are starting to return to Southaven’s old town.

Southaven calls the area from Highway 51 to Airways, the 51 and Main District.

In recent months, new businesses have filled up shopping and office centers here, and brought new life here.

Raceway has even begun construction on a fancy new gas station and travel center right off Stateline and I-55.

Planners say it makes sense.

”The growth going to the South is basically ceasing at Church Road. It can’t go any further than Church Road, so that being said, that area’s kinda getting occupied and getting developed, so the best thing you can do is come back North and try to get some visibility,” said Southaven Planning Director Whitney Choat-Cook.

Business owners say it’s working so well, even their competitors have welcomed them with open arms.

”We’ve already had some good days and I’m kinda shocked but I’m glad for the business right now. I'm optimistic, Yeah!” said Brown.

She says it’s helping some Southaven residents re-discover what for some had been a forgotten part of town.