Car wash, restaurants, IRS offices all potential businesses for Panola

Published 9:41 am Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Batesville and Panola County have enjoyed steady, if not slow, business growth in the past two years, and a recent flurry of buying and building by developers is increasing retail and other opportunities locally.

Consider some of the business news that has recently been discussed in meetings of the planning commissions of both the city and county, and the reports given to supervisors and aldermen:

  • Dollar General Stores are under construction both east and west of Batesville, and when opened will give Panola County eight retail sites of the national chain. Dollar General’s expansion has not been without controversy, mostly from the residents of Wildwood Subdivision who are concerned about the potential for increased traffic danger due to the location of the driveway of the Hwy. 6W store being built now.
  • Dodge’s Store is almost complete on Hwy. 6 in Batesville proper, and will open within the month according to officials. Again, some are concerned about the increase of traffic exiting and entering the busy highway when the convenience store, known regionally for its fried chicken selections, is opened to the public.
  • Jack’s Restaurant will soon begin renovations of the now-empty building at the southwest corner of Hwy. 6 and Woodland Rd. The family restaurant, popular in Alabama and other Southern states, has shown interest in the site for more than a year, but only recently began actively planning their new location when local real estate developer Woody Loden, Jr., gave the City of Batesville the short street he owned behind the property as a new city street. Jack’s officials were unwilling to move forward without the assurances that the street would be public domain because they were relying on the street for customers to use as an alternative to turning on and off of Hwy. 6.
  • Delta Car Wash, a modern tunnel-style car wash and vacuum stations, has purchased property near Neail’sPackage Store on Hwy. 6 (almost across from Cafe Ole). The owner of Delta Car Wash already has 11 locations and will build here in early spring.
  • Panola Partnership CEO Joe Azar recently hosted a contingent of officials from the Internal Revenue Service and the Mississippi Department of Human Services. The tour of Sardis and Batesville properties included the old Sardis Hospital, the Smith Phillips building in east Batesville, Arena One west of Batesville, and the old Framed Picture building on Hwy. 6W near the overhead bridge. The IRS is looking for locations to house up to 500 employees locally in a major nationwide expansion.
  • The IRS has a variety of jobs the agency hopes to add, including call centers workers, case workers, and executive positions. Azar said the Dept. of Human Services is assisting the IRS in locating office spaces and coordinating workforce development needed to fill the potential positions. Other counties and cities are also pitching sites to the IRS, but Panola County remains one of the most attractive places agency officials have visited. Azar said the Sardis hospital and recently remodeled Frame Pictures properties would be used for call centers, and administrative offices could be housed in the Smith Phillips building if Panola County is chosen for the new jobs. The Arena One property has been sold since it was shown to the group, but Azar said other properties in the county could also be considered.