City council holds public hearing on 'District at Midtown' project

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Hattiesburg City Council voted 5-0 to hold a public hearing on the 'District at Midtown' project. City Council President Kim Bradley said they will discuss the possibility of the city issuing tax increment (TIF) bonds up to $9 million, rather than the original $6 million issued for the project.

The District at Midtown project is the construction of a $20 million boutique hotel which will be located between Forrest General Hospital and Southern Miss on Hardy and 31st Avenue. Also part of the project will be space for retail businesses. "A $20 million dollar hotel along with the other businesses will just be phenomenal" added Bradley.

Developer Rob Tatum applied to a program with the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) that would allow rebates through the sales tax on the project.

"Part of his plan was to apply to MDA for a program that he felt the project qualified for where you are able to state what rebate sales tax dollars back to you if the project was qualified" said Bradley.

The MDA did not grant Tatum the full part of the program that was needed, now Tatum would like to come back and re-open the TIF bonds.

Bradley said, "He also wants to revisit what the city committed 17% amount of the sales tax dollars that we get from sales tax back to the project, he is asking us to consider doing that again."

He said the entire project can benefit the future of Hattiesburg. "The future of the city of Hattiesburg needs the Midtown project."

Bradley added, "That area has the largest employers...that area would be unbelievable growth for midtown Hattiesburg and future Hattiesburg."

The public hearing will be held 4 p.m. Monday, June 20th at the City Hall Chambers.

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