The proposed two-store Mercedes-Benz dealership entails 70,000 square feet.
The proposed two-store Mercedes-Benz dealership entails 70,000 square feet.
RIDGELAND — The city’s Zoning and Architecture Review Board approved plans for the relocation of Jackson’s Mercedes-Benz dealership here on Tuesday.

Zoning officials voted to recommend that the Board of Alderman approve a zoning change from MU-1 mixed use to C-4 with a conditional use permit for a car dealership at the July 19 regular BOA meeting.

The dealership is set to go up on the south corner of Steed and Sunnybrook Road and extends to the new Frontage Road, though the location has no address because there is currently no structure on the site. There are two existing car dealerships across the street.

Mercedes-Benz of Jackson announced its plans to move from Jackson to Ridgeland this week following a story in last week’s Journal about the potential relocation.

“Simply put we were land locked, even after two expansions in recent years,” said Trudy Higginbotham-Moody, co-owner and president of the dealership.

“We carefully studied several options that would allow us to best serve our customers. We looked at possible sites in all three counties in the metro area as well as expanding our current location.”

The dealership will be two stories totaling 70,000 square feet. Groundbreaking is expected this fall with completion in the spring of 2017.

The Porsche of Jackson dealership, which is owned by the same company, will remain at its Jackson location.

In addition, the board approved plans to be recommended to the Mayor and Board of Aldermen at their next meeting.

Ward 3 Appointee Connie Suber said that building looked “very sleek and classy.”

The architect said that “it is not a cheap building” and they worked hard to make sure the design was a fit for Ridgeland and the area it would go in.

“I expected it would be well done,” Ward 1 member Glenn Ray said.

Aldermen voted 4-2 last week to issue a resolution to hold a public hearing to consider tax increment financing (TIF) plan for the project.

Alderman-at-Large D.I. Smith and Ward 1 Alderman Ken Heard voted no, saying that it was “improper” until the zoning board had made their recommendation.

“I think it shows disrespect and disregard for the responsibilities of that board,” Smith said.

Under the TIF, $3.3 million worth of bonds would be issued for infrastructure improvements. Ad valorem taxes collected in the future would go towards payment of the TIF note.

Aldermen will consider the zoning petition, zoning board recommendation and TIF plan as well recommendations made on renderings reviewed by the architecture board Tuesday evening at the July 19 meeting.

Mayor Gene F. McGee, said that access to dealerships from the split-diamond interchange project that opened last May was one of several factors that accounted for Ridgeland seeing gains in sales tax collections.