What's Next?

Provide your comments as to "what's next?" Or, the next step in the process...


Anonymous said...

The Board of Alderman held a "working meeting" Monday, Sept 17, 2007. Can anyone give us an update?

Anonymous said...

The mayor announced that a petition had been filed regarding the non-decision of the Zoning Board and that in keeping with policy a public hearing is now required. It will be held on October 10th - I believe at the Ridgeland High School at 6:30 PM.

Lisa said...

We just finished a neighborhood meeting, and it went just fine. There were a few people with questions about concerns that have been voiced by others, but we were able to work through all of them.

Not everyone showed up, but most of the ones that did not show up are already 100% for the building to be built.

One agreement we have is for the building to be AT LEAST 17 stories. We see no reason for the building to have to be less floors than that. So, pass the word!

And thank you for running this web site. We used http://GoRidgeland.org to answer most all questions, and it was just fabulous! Oh, and we have our AWESOME t-shirts, too! We're excited, now. As a neighborhood!! Together, we're excited about this HCBAILEY building coming to our city.


Bruce Deer said...

Support for Renaissance Office Building
By Bruce Deer

I support the building in Renaissance especially now that the developer has compromised to 13 stories. It will be good for Ridgeland and the property values in the neighborhoods close to Renaissance. I would like to correct the mistaken statement and sensationalism about losing privacy because occupants of the building will be looking down in their backyards. The new building is over 600 yards (imagine 6 football fields end to end) from the closest backyard which hardly makes it a real issue just a sensational comment. Also only a few neighborhood residents will be able to see the building from their backyard not entire neighborhoods. Progress brings change which not all will accept with open arms.

Anonymous said...

Lisa, which neighborhood are you referring to? I am glad to hear that your neighborhood supports the building.

Annie said...

My husband and I were discussing the outcome of the work session last night and the upcoming hearing and how we thought the vote would turn out. While we can see Mr. Heard not voting for the building becuase the area that is complaining is his area and those are his voters, the one that has us puzzled is Mr. Steen.
As you all know Lake Harbor will be widened to 4 lanes. Along with this there are about 10 houses that will be demolsihed and families will have to uproot and move. In the many HOA meetings that were held, Mr. Steen made the stance that this had to happen for the "growth of the city" and that these people were basically giving up their homes for the "growth of the city" and he encouraged them to give up homes that they had owned for many years for the "growth of the city."
Mr Steen stated in a recent article that he was for the citizens and that this buidling would not be for the best in this location. Why is it that it is ok for middle class families to give up their homes for the "growth of the city" but that is not ok for some upper class families to have to pass by a building while they still have their homes? This building needs to happen for the "growth of the city".
Just curious as to Mr Steens thinking on this.....
Please encourage all of the Aldermen on voting for this building.

Michael J. Smith said...

The next step is for those of us living west of I-55 who support the building project to invite those in neighborhoods east of I-55 to join us in expressing support for the project. We all need to contact our friends and neighbors, pass information along by email, refer potential supporters to the web site www.goridgeland.net, and encourage everyone to contact their aldermen.


We are asking you to support the Bailey building on Highland Colony as presented to the Zoning Board. We believe, as do others, that this building will not have a significant impact on the surrounding neighborhoods. Both the Madison County Journal poll and the Go Ridgeland poll indicate that 80% of those responding support the building project, and the Go Ridgeland poll has 650 participants. But the building is not the issue. The building has never really been the issue in our opinion, it has just been an ends to a means. The real issue is much more long term that the fate of a single building. The real issue has much more to do with the long term fate of Ridgeland. The real issue is an extremely rare opportunity to bring into our city over 1,000 of the highest paying jobs from three of the largest firms in three of the most prominent industries in the state and possibly the region. The real issue is do we step up to the next level of Fortune 500 companies, or do we run the risk of being a city with two nice shopping areas and an economic corridor lined with small office parks, building supply companies, telemarketing phone centers, and perhaps the odd car dealership or two.

The people who oppose the building have commented that the loss of a building will not drive these three tenants out of Ridgeland. Our question is – “why shouldn’t they withdraw?” Are we expecting them to love Ridgeland so much that they are just going to pull up stakes and move here anyway when they don't get what they specifically requested– especially after being dragged into the recent round of publicity? They have expressed a desire to move, but Ridgeland is not the only location to consider, as much as we may want to think so. There is both Madison and Clinton to consider. In fact it would be extremely surprising to find that the city of Madison has not already made indirect overtures for these tenants to consider Madison based on their recent “national” ranking and their “superior schools” – schools that we support with our taxes. Everyone has discussed seeking a win-win solution. Well, the win-win scenario is a marketing concept. When one is evaluating a financial issue, the question is not “what is win-win”; the question is “what is the down side for this situation financially”. The down side in this issue is the possible loss of over 1,000 highly paid workers and an annual payroll of over $63,000,000 at full occupancy. Some may say it is a small risk, but when this much money is at stake, we consider almost any risk to be too great.

We ask you to consider the down side mentioned above for a few moments. What will we tell other citizens in Ridgeland, if we loose one or more of these tenants? Are we going to argue that “well, one or two out of three isn’t bad.” What are we going to say if one or more decides to relocate to Madison? Well, Madison needs economic development too, and we can spare some. Should any of these tenants fail to relocate or relocate elsewhere nearby, people are going to ask questions. Quite frankly we have more trouble seeing any good answers to those questions on the horizon than the nearby neighborhoods have seeing the proposed building on the horizon.

Finally, what do we tell parents who each year see Mississippi college students moving out of state and away from home to seek better employment. In the March 6, 2006, edition of the MS Business Journal an article written by Lynn Loftin mentioning this “brain drain” effect on Mississippi stated that according to the 2000 census the number of young, single, highly educated college students leaving the state numbered 5,000 in the five years prior to the census. According to Dr. Barbara J. Logue a demographics expert with the state Institutions of Higher Learning:

"That's been happening and still is. We've invested in the education for these people and then they leave," she said. "The biggest reasons are career advancement with better jobs and salaries." She says retaining these individuals and attracting an inward migration of them from other areas is an issue. "Mississippi still has a reputation of being backward and less educated. The image is still out there," she said. "The brain drain will continue because we have this image that isn't getting better."

Brian Reithel, Dean of the University of Mississippi's School of Business Administration, sees hope, but we must cultivate an economic atmosphere where our best and brightest decide to stay in Mississippi, and specifically stay in our communities. That starts with what will probably be one of the most important votes that you will ever cast for Ridgeland. We have absolutely no doubt that we are standing at the proverbial crossroads and that the upcoming vote on this building project will decide the ultimate future for Ridgeland and its citizens for generations to come. This vote will determine Ridgeland’s image both inside and outside the state. We don’t envy your task, but we know that you will look down the road at the real issue involved here – far beyond the controversy of a single building. We hope that in doing so, you will support the building project.

Thank you for all your hard work on behalf of our city.

Michael J. Smith