A rendering of the new Firestone building shows the exterior is consistent with nearby businesses.
A rendering of the new Firestone building shows the exterior is consistent with nearby businesses.
MADISON - National businesses continue to eye the city as a place to locate stores and Firestone is the latest to invest in the area.

The automotive care center is in the process of building a new site on Highway 51 next to the old Walgreen's building.

Construction has been going on for about a month and officials are shooting for an August opening.

Jerry Cook, director of economic development for Madison, said the approval process has gone smoothly and other than weather the construction of the building has had very few hangups aside from a rezoning of the property.

"It has really been a smooth process for them. The permit process went well. They really don't have issues," Cook said.

Cook says city officials quickly approved the project after both sides came to terms with a design that matched existing structures in the area.

He also acknowledged a distinct need for auto repair shops in the city of Madison.

"There is currently only one auto repair shop like it, that I can think of, and they stay very busy. This will offer another alternative," Cook said.

Alan Hoops, director of community development, said the shop will offer services like oil changes and auto checkups. Hoops echoed Cook's sentiments about the need, saying many residents have to travel to nearby Ridgeland or Jackson for repair work.

"Firestone and other repair shops have been wanting to come to Madison for some time now," he said.

Hoops said that this project is a good start to developing local auto care and hopefully this will attract more similar businesses.

"I think there is a need for auto repair in Madison. Now we would like to see one move into the other side of the interstate," Hoops said.