Progressive Pipeline formally announced its plans to move its corporate headquarters to downtown Meridian with a celebration at the future site Thursday night.
Approximately 50 employees, including 25 new hires, are expected to work out of the former Melton Hardware building at 2201 Front Street.
Dozens of people, including state and community leaders, Progressive Pipeline employees and other guests gathered in an outdoor space next to the building.
“We're a part of this community now,” said Michael Castle Jr., the company's president. “We chose to be here because we want to make a difference. We want to be a part of the catalyst that is going to move this downtown revitalization project forward.”
Progressive Pipeline calls itself “the industry leading pipeline construction and maintenance company” that has “completed over 500 projects at a value of over $2 billion,” according to its website.
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Castle said Wednesday that the move was necessary because the company has outgrown its existing headquarters south of the city off Mississippi Highway 145.
The 20-year-old company plans to keep that space as its operations headquarters, he said.
Brooke Bell, a Progressive Pipeline employee, said she will be working out of the new downtown building.
“It's a great opportunity,” she said. “I think it's really going to open up things, just being here for a year and seeing the opportunities that downtown has to offer.”
Mayor Percy Bland called the move a “game changer” for the city.
“We just want to continue to do all that we can in the city to be attractive for these businesses to invest in Meridian, be it downtown, be it on whatever side of town,” he said.
The company plans to move staff into the top two floors of the 27,000 square-foot building in 2021, which Castle estimated will be an investment of $6 million.
The ground floor will be a multi-use space, he said.
Construction is expected to start next year.
“We’re so fortunate that the leaders of Progressive Pipeline chose to put their headquarters here,” said Glenn McCullough, the executive director of the Mississippi Development Authority. “They could have gone to another state. They could have gone to another city and we believe they made the right decision to put their headquarters right here in Meridian, Mississippi.”