Vicksburg Commons Shopping Center set to be auctioned

Published 11:10 am Thursday, September 22, 2022

When Blue Ridge Capital, an Atlanta-based company, purchased the Outlets of Vicksburg, there was only 10 percent occupancy.

But after focusing on local Vicksburg entrepreneurs, the retail space now known as Vicksburg Commons Shopping Center has grown to 75-percent occupancy, Vice President of Leasing and Property Management for Blue Ridge Capital Steve Patrick said.

And while small “mom and pop” businesses are continuing to lease space, Patrick said, the company is at a place where they are ready to sell.

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“It’s nothing against Vicksburg, nothing against the property; we love the property,” he said. “It’s just the timing of where we expected it to be and where we are. It’s not quite in line where the partners wanted to be, so we made a tough decision to have to sell it.”

Therefore, on Sept. 27, Vicksburg Commons will be put up for auction.

“We sell all our commercial properties by auction,” Patrick said. “It’s pretty typical for commercial properties these days. You get such a broader array of potential buyers.”

Patrick said the auction will be online and bidders will have to sign up to participate.

Bidding for properties always starts at a low amount to attract bidders, Patrick said.

“But everyone who has participated in these actions or has bought property knows that it is not going to sell for the starting bid amount because it is not a vacant property,” he said, adding that if it were a vacant property and or in disrepair perhaps it would. “But that is not the case. This property is far from that.”

Patrick said he would like to see a local buyer purchase Vicksburg Commons and has actively been trying to recruit.

“I reached out to some local contacts I had because I think it would be great to go back to local ownership, but I don’t know if any of those potential people are going to register for the auction bid or not,” he said. “You really never know until the day of the auction.”

Patrick said bidding follows a strict process.

“They (bidders) have to be prequalified financially to know that they will have the ability to close,” Patrick said, adding that BRC is not involved with the bidding process. It is all handled by a brokerage company. “We don’t have any interaction with the bidders; we don’t really know any of them. We let the brokers have that contact.”

However, on the last day of the auction when the property is sold, Patrick said, the brokerage firm will let them know who purchased the property.

“It’s not a done deal,” Patrick said, until 30 days later when it closes.

“In between then we will have interaction with the buyer and things will be going on, but until they close it really doesn’t mean anything,” he said.

BRC purchased the property, located at 4000 S. Frontage Road, at the end of 2019, just before the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. But even under the worst of circumstances, Vicksburg Commons, which is comprised of more than 96,000 square feet on nine acres of land, weathered the storm.

“It’s amazing really,” Patrick said, of the growth in occupancy rate. “It’s still got a long way to go, and we know that and it’s going to take some time, but it has come a long way.”

Patrick also praised the late Margaret Gilmer for her economic vision.

“I don’t think people really understand how significant it was that Margaret was able to do what she did when she did, because getting that property developed was a monumental feat,” he said.

And now that the South Frontage Road extension has been completed, Patrick said he feels more positives will happen.

“Maybe the second life of the property will be even better than the first who knows,” he said.

A partnership created by Gilmer still owns the Gap building and the parcel of land that includes the land next to the Cracker Barrel, Patrick said.

Mary Jane Fant, Gilmer’s daughter, does have the property for sale, Patrick said, but it is not included in the auction.

Patrick said he continues to be very interested in seeing the property prosper, and is supportive of the 19 local businesses who lease property at Vicksburg Commons, as well as the special events scheduled. On Oct. 1, Cosplay for a Cause, an event benefitting the Children’s of Mississippi Hospital is scheduled and the third annual drive-thru Trunk or Treat is scheduled for Oct. 25.

Businesses at Vicksburg Commons Shopping Center are:

  • Suite 101: Unique Sisters Boutique
  • Suite 102: Ambition Scrubs & Health
  • Suite 103: Timeless Eventz Suite
  • Suite 104: Box Drop Mattress
  • Suite 105: Meci Kouture & Unique Graphic Designs
  • Suite 106: Home Accessories & More
  • Suite 107: Rejuvenating Fitness Personal Training
  • Suite 109: Vape Haven
  • Suite 110: Drip Clothing
  • Suite 111: Five 8 Fashions (Coming Soon)
  • Suite 112-A: Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory
  • Suite 112: Billy’s Italian Restaurant
  • Suite 114: Muddy Magnolias Marketplace
  • Suite 119: I-20 Escape Room & Gaming
  • Suite 121: Hall’s Florist, Gifts, & Bakery
  • Suite 123: Palmer’s Seafood & Market
  • Suite 124: Picture This Selfie Studio & Photography
  • Suite 126: Grand River Clothing
  • Suite 127: P3 Studio of Dance

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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