By Monica Hernandez
A sluggish economy often means a downturn in new developments. But at the Bloomfield development in Pearl, workers are transforming a dirt lot into a Sam's Club. There's progress, but that doesn't mean Bloomfield is safe from a slow economy.
"Of course, we weren't counting on the downturn of the markets... so that's eventually going to have an effect," said Jimmy Foster, Mayor of Pearl. "[Development is] maybe eight to ten months behind. Sam's coming online isn't expected for another year, possibly another year and a half construction time."
Trustmark Park and the Bass Pro Shop are part of the development. And the Holiday Inn and Alumni House were recently completed.
But Foster said the outlet mall phase is coming along more slowly than expected. The developer, Capital Spectrum, LLC, said construction was expected to begin on the Outlets at Bloomfield this fall. But developers tell WLBT they may not break ground until spring of 2009. They're waiting to until enough retailers sign on.
"Some of the tenants, there may be some uncertainty in not willing to move quite as quickly as they had in the past," said Jason Voyles, President of Capital Spectrum, LLC.
But Voyles still has faith that Mississippi's largest proposed outlet center will come through.
"It's somewhat of a national trend for retail tenants that have an outlet brand to grow that brand during slow economic times," said Voyles.
Sam's Club is expected to be complete by spring of 2009. The outlet center is expected to be complete by spring of 2010.