Carnation Village: Inside transformation of historic Tupelo landmark

Carnation Village will provide affordable apartments for seniors

TUPELO, Miss. (WCBI) – For generations, the iconic smokestack at the Carnation Milk Plant was a symbol of prosperity for Mill Village and the city of Tupelo.

But after the plant closed, the building was shuttered and became a refuge for the homeless.

But for the past year, workers have been transforming the abandoned plant, into affordable housing for seniors.

“We designed 33 units in this building and we have a community building out back that will have a community center,” said Steve Nail, who is with Madison-based Intervest Corporation. His company specializes in finding new life, for historic buildings.

Nail said Carnation Village will be for seniors ages 55 and older. Two units will be leased at market rate, while the others will be for seniors earning between 30 and 60% of the area’s median income.

Colin Maloney owns Century Construction, which is building the multi-family development. He said the project would be a game changer for Mill Village.

“My grandmother lived on Church Street, and grandfather had his business here. It is great to see this renovation of this building, been a great positive impact on Mill Village and will be great for Tupelo,” Maloney said.

Before Nail committed to the project, he wanted to be sure one issue was cleared up.

“One of the understandings I had with the city is they would turn this into a no-blow zone, train would not blow its whistle. It’s loud. They assured me they would spend the money, not wait on grants, to create these crossings on tracks close by,” Nail said.

The city has made the necessary safety improvements for a quiet zone at the Broadway Street railroad crossing. Plans call for similar work to be done at Church and Green Street crossings. Still, when all that work is done, the railroad has the final say when it comes to designating a quiet zone.

In the meantime, Carnation Village will open its doors to tenants in August.

For more information, go to or call (601)345-2045.

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