Mississippi Power investing $1.2 in local renovation
Published 7:00 am Friday, May 9, 2014
Mississippi Power broke ground on their new office location in Picayune this week.
The new location will involve renovating an existing building on West Canal Street, the former Hancock Bank satellite branch.
Mississippi Power District Manager Benny Prestridge said the company is investing about $1.2 million into the renovation of the building.
Not only will relocating to West Canal provide customers with additional parking, but the location also offers drive-up service.
Currently the building has about 1,100 square feet, but Prestridge said there are plans to add an expansion that would bring the square footage to 1,900.
That extra room will make way for a conference room that would double as a storm room and enable the company to coordinate outage responses, Prestridge said.
Other additions will be handicapped accessible bathrooms, additional office space and a small kitchen.
Currently Mississippi Power is leasing their location on Elizabeth Street in Picayune, but this move will allow the company to own the building.
The current location has minimal parking and no drive-up service. Prestridge said he expects 60 to 70 percent of their customers to utilize the drive-up service once the new location opens later this year.
The larger site will also allow the company to store trucks and materials to better respond to emergency situations that lead to power outages.
Prestridge said a privacy fence will be installed where those items will be stored to preserve the aesthetics of the historic downtown area.
Other changes to the property will include updated landscaping and lighting.
“It’s going to look really attractive when we get through with it,” Prestridge said. “It’s really about building a better place for our customers to do business.”
Renovation work is expected to be complete by the middle of September and the grand opening is planned to take place by mid-October.
Prestridge said it is his understanding that their new location in downtown Picayune has a unique historic background.
He said the site was the location of the first hospital and baseball field in Picayune.
“We really promote our communities and downtowns and this is a way to do that by investing in Picayune’s downtown,” Prestridge said.