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By STEVEN NALLEY
Tabor Construction and Development turned what was once one of Starkvilleâ€™s industrial hubs into a commercial hub.
Borden Dairy closed its condensed milk plant at the corner of Lampkin Street and Montgomery Street in 2005. Four years later, TCD renovated the plantâ€™s boiler room into the Central Station Grill, bringing businesses like Something Southern and Boardtown Bikes to the facility in the years since. At the Greater Starkville Development Partnershipâ€™s annual banquet Jan. 26, GSDP President Jon Maynard spotlighted this achievement.
â€ś(Tabor Construction and Development took) a manufacturing plant thatâ€™s been around since the 1920s ... that (was) closed and essentially turning itself into a bigger and bigger eyesore, and (the company turned) it into shops and residences and offices and a restaurant,â€ť Maynard said. â€śWhen (the Tennessee Valley Authority) presents (design plans) across the entire valley ... they use this as an example of what they want to do.â€ť
Maynard then presented Tabor Construction and Development with the R. Clay Simmons Exemplary Enterprise Award during the banquet.
Jennifer Gregory, GSDP vice president and chief operating officer, said the late R. Clay Simmons was one of Starkvilleâ€™s top civic activists and a former director of Starkvilleâ€™s chamber of commerce. His leadership led to the founding of an R. Clay Simmons foundation to assist economic development in the Starkville area.
â€śThe award was established in 1995 to recognize a business in the Starkville area that has made outstanding contributions to the Starkville community and has manifested superior business practices,â€ť Gregory said. â€śCriteria utilized by the selection committee include civic involvement, educational advancement, economic development and innovation and creativity in business practices.â€ť
Past recipients of the Simmons Award include Sullivanâ€™s Office Supply, East Mississippi Lumber Company, Bell Building Supply, The Book Mart, Prudential Starkville Properties and Metrocast, Gregory said. In addition to Central Station Commercial Condominiums, she said, other recent major TCD projects include replacing the former University Inn with University Club Condominiums and Buffalo Wild Wings and establishing the Starkville Station RV Resort behind University Square Shopping Center.
Founder Larry Tabor said the award meant a lot to him because he personally knew R. Clay Simmons as one of the kindest, nicest people he ever met. His son, TCD President and CEO Jeremy Tabor, said his business peersâ€™ recognition is very rewarding, and he is grateful to them and to a full-time staff who made it possible after working together for more than five years.
â€śTogether, we have over 55 years collective experience in the real estate and construction industries,â€ť Jeremy said. â€śWe have made it a practice to partner with the best of the best in the industry to provide superior customer service and produce the highest quality product on the market today. Our success could not be possible without the support of our community, civic leaders, clients, partners and subcontractors. It is a team effort that allows us to do what we enjoy most.â€ť
It has helped TCD and other Starkville businesses to live in an area which was not overbuilt when the recession began in 2008, Jeremy said, and TCD represents one part of a larger push to improve Starkvilleâ€™s quality of life.
â€śThe growth of the university has translated to a higher demand for businesses and housing, which trickles down through all aspects of our local economy,â€ť Jeremy said. â€śStarkville has been the perfect stage for us to expand our portfolio and we are extremely grateful for the opportunity we have been given.â€ť
Jeremy said TCD chose to revitalize the Borden plant and the University Inn because his team recognized both as high-visibility areas.
â€śFirst impressions make a huge impact when someone is considering Starkville for their home or their business,â€ť Jeremy said. â€śImpacting that first impression benefits us all and makes our city a better place to be. I would be lying if I said we werenâ€™t just a little bit competitive and want to make sure we do our part to make Starkville the best SEC town.â€ť
To achieve that goal, Jeremy said TCD has several plans in store for the future.
â€śIn addition to finishing the final phases of our condominiums at Annabella, Belle Grove and The Lofts at Central Station, we have recently expanded our company to include an in-house designer, architect, engineer and marketing firm,â€ť Jeremy said. â€śOur hope is that we can provide the same comprehensive service that we have benefitted from over the years to others that are considering a development in this region.â€ť