Contact: Harriet Laird
STARKVILLE, Miss.—The impact of research conducted by Mississippi State University has taken a significant step forward today [May 15], as the MSU Research and Technology Corporation closed on a primary property that clears the way for planned expansion of the Thad Cochran Research and Technology Park.
MSU’s purchase of Cadence Bank’s Main Street office in Downtown Starkville allows the university to move forward with Phase II of the park, providing additional space for expanding companies wanting to remain in this market and also attracting startup businesses.
“Mississippi State is extremely pleased to see this transaction between Cadence and the university come to fruition,” said MSU Research and Technology Corporation President Dr. David Shaw, who also serves at the university’s vice president for research and economic development. “This is a win-win for the university, the community and the corporate tenants who will greatly contribute to helping build a more vibrant, innovative business culture as a result of this move. I’m grateful to Marc McGee for his leadership in helping get this project to the finish line.”
In the 33,000-square-foot property at 301 West Main Street, Cadence will sublet space while design and construction begins on the anticipated new bank, to be located on Russell Street behind Comfort Suites. Cadence has called the downtown building home for more than four decades.
“We are pleased to have finalized the sale of our office in Downtown Starkville to the MSU Research and Technology Corporation,” said Jerry Toney, Mississippi president for Cadence Bank. “This sale speaks to the growth and progress of both our organizations, and to a stronger, more vibrant Starkville. We are excited about what the future holds for our bank, our clients and our community as we begin construction on a new, modern facility on Russell Street.”
With office space in the research park’s Phase I nearing capacity, the retention of these existing companies and the potential capabilities that startups bring are a high university priority. Walkability, access to multiple dining options, the main street environment, and close proximity to the university are all benefits that many prospective companies consider.
The expansive square footage of the new downtown site opens many possibilities for university planners who also will be considering the aesthetic possibilities that can enhance even further the current appeal of the college town’s atmosphere.
Throughout its history, MSU has worked to maintain, reinforce and enrich its town-and-gown relationship with Starkville officials, organizations and businesses. The university recently opened the 2,000-square-foot Idea Shop, at 114 East Main Street, as a hub for entrepreneurship and innovation. Here, students and community members can take their ideas and plan, create, test and launch businesses.
Not only the university’s presence, but its internationally renowned research, will be a reinforcement to downtown commercial businesses and property owners, minimizing any competition from the companies and startups that locate in the new university main street location.
No date has been set for the opening of the renovated university facility, but plans are underway for design and construction.
MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.