$325 million town center ...Flowood, Mississippi

he Neopolis Group LLC won approval in December to build a $325 million town center on approximately 140 acres in Flowood, Mississippi, and the company now is looking to construct a 110-acre traditional neighborhood development (TND) on adjacent land. Last October Flowood became the first municipality in Mississippi to adopt a version of the SmartCode — urged to do so by Richard Ridgway, a partnerwith Mark Frascogna in Neopolis, which earlier in 2005 began developing a 259-acre new urban project called Lost Rabbit, in Madison County north of Jackson.

Neopolis intends to construct a mix of commercial and residential buildings three to four stories high in what is envisioned as the Flowood Town Center. Outside the town center’s core will be a full spectrum of residential development, including townhouses, carriage houses, condominium units, large and medium-size houses, and mansions, Ridgway said. Ridgway had attorney Chad Emerson introduce the SmartCode concept to officials in Flowood, a suburb of about 5,000 that is experiencing substantial business and residential development, some of it spurred by Jackson International Airport, which sits within Flowood’s boundaries. Emerson helped tailor the SmartCode of Duany Plater-Zyberk & Co. (DPZ) to Mississippi law and to Flowood’s requirements. Ridgway had told the municipality that he wanted a code that would allow him to create a pedestrian-scale mixed-use development on the approximately 140 acres. Now he expects that in February or March the city will agree to extend the SmartCode to the additional 110 acres.

Keith Marshall, building official/zoning administrator for Flowood, said the recently adopted code allows shops to come right up to the sidewalks, to have housing directly above, and to do without parking lots. Ridgway estimates that the combined projects will take 10 years to build and will contain about 1,100 dwellings and 750,000 to 1 million sq. ft. of commercial space. DPZ is to conduct a charrette for the entire 250 acres Jan. 18-26.