Mulberry building to be razed|[2/17/06]

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 17, 2006

The City of Vicksburg will raze another building, this one on Mulberry Street, in its ongoing urban renewal of historic downtown.

The building that has housed LD’s Kitchen, at 1111 Mulberry St., will be &#8220demolished very quickly,” Mayor Laurence Leyens said Thursday. &#8220And we’re going to make it a garden parking lot.

&#8220We’re going to advertise it, if someone wants to do a new development we’re interested in any kind of commercial development, but our preference would be some kind of restaurant or tourist entertainment,” he said.

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The property is on the east side of Mulberry Street just east of the Yazoo Diversion Canal, where the city has built the Art Park at Catfish Row and near the murals along the floodwall.

An Army Corps of Engineers museum is also planned just west of the art park. Separately a railroad museum has been planned for the Yazoo & Mississippi Valley Depot building, just north of the art park.

The demolition of old buildings, the construction of the park and other amenities throughout downtown have come with the city’s urban renewal project that was begun in 2001 at a cost of $17.5 million.

The goal was to keep a historic look in the downtown area, while clearing areas identified as slum or blight, and making infrastructure and aesthetic improvements across the city.

The money is being spent on the rebricking, lighting and a sound system for the downtown part of Washington Street, in addition to the purchase of several properties.

Financing for the project came from bonds issued in 2001.

Leyens said Thursday that Larry Prentiss, owner of LD’s Kitchen, will have about a month to move from the Mulberry Street building, which the city purchased for $84,448.

Prentiss, who was appointed by the Warren County Board of Supervisors last year to a temporary position as District 2 supervisor, said he has purchased the former KFC building at 2600 Halls Ferry Road from Hannon Food Service and plans to move his business there.

South Ward Alderman Sid Beauman said Prentiss was leasing the Mulberry property from the city as part of an urban renewal agreement from 2003. Prentiss has rented the property on a month-to-month basis since November 2004.

Leyens said the city will advertise the sale of the property as soon as someone notifies the city of an interest in the property. He said anyone interested in the property should contact the city planning department at 601-634-4525.