Campus Expansion is First of Its Kind for MS Universities

STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) – The College View development at Mississippi State capitalized on a concept that’s trending in many downtown areas.

The new complex will be the first of its kind on a Mississippi university campus.

This kind of a project is called a Public Private Partnership, where private businesses can lease space from a public agency, in this case a public university.

Again, it’s never been implemented in the state, but the benefit it provides affects nearly everyone who surrounds it.

“You’re going to have residential on top of retail space,” said VP of Real Estate Development at EdR, Mark Grambergs.

Something like that has never been introduced to a Mississippi university, but three years ago Mississippi State President Dr. Mark Keenum saw the impact it had on the campus of the University of Kentucky.

“…and that sparked an idea to bring back to Mississippi State to our team here to investigate, look into this. Is this an opportunity for us here at Mississippi State,” said Keenum.

By working with the city of Starkville and the state legislature, MSU will have a first of its kind living facility.

“…46,000 square feet of retail space for restaurants, retail shops…” described Keenum.

“…fast casuals, things of that nature, and there’s a big promenade area in the middle of the project, which is an opportunity for the art show, for the band, for all kinds of promotional activities that the university may want to do,” continued Grambergs.

Mississippi State is one of a growing number of campuses choosing to lease their property to outside companies.

“You’re seeing a lot more of these types of public private partnerships. We call them P3s , and the great thing about them is they fill the gap that the lack of state funding is challenging the universities with nowadays,” said Grambergs.

When completed, Keenum says the complex will be a win-win.

“..That will serve our student, needs, our university needs, but also the community at large,” said Keenum.

“We are meeting with businesses, getting excited about the Starkville market and letting them know that there’s an opportunity here at Mississippi State,” said Grambergs.

Representatives at EdR haven’t confirmed on any names but have said they’re already working with several letters of intent for businesses interested in coming to College View.

The entire complex is set to be completed before the 2019 Fall Semester.

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