TUPELO • City leaders plan to rent out portions of a former lighting manufacturing building to a local company.
After meeting in a private, executive session on Nov. 16 to discuss the recruitment of a business, the Tupelo City Council voted to allow Mayor Todd Jordan to execute a lease agreement involving the former Day-Brite building on South Green Street and Tupelo-based Threldkeld Enterprises.
The Green Street facility, still often known locally as the "Day-Brite building," was most recently used as a lighting manufacturing facility by Signify, a multi-national corporation formerly known as Philips Lighting.
Current negotiations call for the city to transfer all conditions and terms from Signify over to Threldkeld Enterprises.
Ben Logan, the attorney for the city of Tupelo, told the Daily Journal that Threldkeld will pay $2,500 a month to rent the facility.
Representatives from Threldkeld could not immediately be reached for comment. Local businessman Jim Threldkeld is a key figure in the company, according to business filings with the Mississippi Secretary of State’s Office. Those filings also identify the business as a leasing company.
It was not immediately known what Theldkeld intends to do with the building, which is currently owned in part by the city of Tupelo and in part by Signify.
Current discussions call for the city to lease its portion of the building while Signify will sell its part of the building to Threlkeld, according to Logan.
These discussions comes after Signify notified city officials in January that all of the company’s manufacturing positions in Tupelo would be eliminated, cutting around 135 jobs.
David Rumbarger, the CEO of the Community Development Foundation, told the Daily Journal at the time that the affected workers would receive training to help obtain other jobs and that efforts would immediately begin to ensure that the facility not did not sit empty.
“We’re actively seeking another tenant for that facility,” Rumbarger previously said.
However, Logan said Signify will need to return to the building to clean up hazardous substances.
Day-Brite was the first major manufacturing facility to locate in Tupelo after World War II, opening in 1947. The facility has since been through a number of corporate transformations and ownership arrangements.