Progressive Pipeline plans to move its corporate headquarters to downtown Meridian in 2021.
The relocation was revealed Wednesday morning at the close of the East Mississippi Business Development Corporation's annual meeting at the MSU-Riley Center.
Mike Castle Jr., president of Progressive Pipeline, said later that the move to the former Melton Hardware building at 2201 Front Street was necessary because the company has outgrown its existing headquarters south of the city off Mississippi Highway 145.
“We want and encourage our employees to be active in the community, participate in what's going on downtown, but also be good citizens and bring great value to what Meridian is doing downtown,” Castle said. “We have great potential here.”
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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Approximately 50 people, including 25 new hires, are expected to work out of the top two floors of the 27,000 square-foot building, 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.
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A giant banner on the side of the building, which is located across 22nd Avenue from the Mississippi Arts + Entertainment Experience, has been teasing an announcement party scheduled at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 14.
The 20-year-old company also has office space inside the nearby EMBDC office on 22nd Avenue and plans to keep its current space off Mississippi Highway 145 as its operations headquarters, Castle said.
Until recently, the former Melton Hardware building housed a hair products store that moved down the street to the old Brown Printing building.
Charles Frazier, owner of nearby Weidmann's Restaurant, said the announcement is great for business and downtown development.
“I think the momentum is strong. You can see it everywhere,” Frazier said. “There's just so much activity going on – Threefoot building and across the bridge, the Children's Museum, so it's exciting.”
Bill Hannah, president of the EMBDC, said the addition of Progressive Pipeline will have a positive impact across town.
“Fifty new people in downtown is good in and of itself, but being associated with a company like Progressive, these are high-paying jobs with most of them professional-type people," he said.