CLINTON, Miss. (WJTV) – An $8 million legislative grant will be used to help transform the land between Highway 80 and Interstate 20 west of Springridge Road in Clinton.

According to leaders with Mississippi College (MC), the funding will support the costs associated with site work, construction, and development of streets, street lighting and signals, electrical and communications distribution systems and equipment, water and sewer system infrastructure, and related infrastructure on the property.

The project, which is a partnership between MC, the City of Clinton, and Ben Walker, a local developer and business owner, is set to turn the property into an upscale attraction for shoppers, foodies, and entrepreneurs.

Dr. Blake Thompson, MC President, said the development will benefit all those working and studying on the Clinton campus.

“This project has been dreamed about for a long time,” Thompson said. “I’m grateful to the City of Clinton, the state of Mississippi, and Ben Walker for joining with us and taking the first step toward making the development a reality. The Speaker, Mayor Phil Fisher, and the Board have been remarkable partners in their support throughout this first stage of the project.”

The first phase of the project will encompass about 45 to 50 acres, stretching from Walker’s acreage adjacent to Springridge Road and University property up to a line roughly parallel to Capitol Street. The second phase, expected to begin in about three years, will develop the remainder of MC’s land south of Highway 80.

The Clinton Board of Alderman voted July 19 to approve the conceptual plan for the development.

“This has been a very underdeveloped piece of property for a long time,” Walker said. “We feel there’s a need for upscale retail in Clinton. If we can land the right type of stores and restaurants, it will give the citizens of Clinton a place to shop and eat without having to go to other communities. In turn, it should help the college greatly with prospective students.”