Mayor: "Retail Overlooked"

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It appears some major growth is on the way in Meridian's retail offerings, a new shopping center in the Bonita area.

Newscenter 11 reported earlier this year that Meridian Crossings shopping center will be built where Kmart once stood on South Frontage Road at Highway 19 South.

The new shopping center will encompass basically all of the unused land in the Bonita shopping area from South Frontage Road up to the road that leads to the mall.

City officials say it should have a major impact on the local economy.

"It is an overlooked industry here in Meridian. It is an overlooked employer here," said Mayor John Robert Smith, "but it is a terrific revenue producer for the city of Meridian."

Local officials say they aren't ready to announce any of the stores that will be built in the new shopping center, but that they will include major box store retailers that Meridian does not currently have.

The Trotman Group is the company building the shopping center, which will have about 375,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, making it about half the size of the Bonita Lakes Mall. It's expected to have about 30 tenants.

The Trotman Company is currently recruiting stores to be a part of the center. The company has not announced when it might open.