The Galleria shopping center is finally coming to D’Iberville

Bob Mandal held onto his dream of building a shopping center at the prime I-10/110 interchange in D’Iberville and now he has a new partnership to make that happen.

Rise Partners, based in Chattanooga, Tennessee, announced on Sept. 12 it has entered into an agreement with Mandal’s Ramco Development to develop Gulf Coast Galleria in D’Iberville.

Together they plan to create a mixed-use destination on the 80-acre site at the southwest quadrant of the intersection, with more than 600,000 square feet of retail, entertainment, restaurant, office and hospitality space.

Construction is expected to start in summer 2019 and completion of phase one is planned for summer 2020, the developers said.

Plans change

The scope of the Galleria has changed several times since Mandal first announced it as an indoor mall.

In 2015 he announced that the Galleria would instead be an open-air shopping center, and he was building Mandal Buick and BMW at the east end of the site. The car dealerships opened in 2017.

The proposed shopping center was part of the design when Mississippi Department of Transportation spent $40 million and totally redesigned the I-10/110 intersection. Part of D’Iberville Boulevard was renamed Galleria Parkway.

Additional road construction is under way in that area of the city to provide access to the new shopping complex and to realign Popp’s Ferry Road, which will connect directly to Big Ridge Road.

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Driving D’Iberville’s diverging diamond

A Mississippi Department of Transportation engineer gives a tour of the diverging diamond intersection on D’Iberville Boulevard over I-10, set to open on June 2.

Rising up

“We are excited to be part of the D’Iberville and Mississippi Gulf Coast success story.” said Geoff Smith, a founding partner in Rise Partners, a new company focused on shopping center development, acquisitions and redevelopments.

He’s very familiar with South Mississippi since he previously was vice president of development at CBL & Associates Properties when the company was building The Promenade shopping center in D’Iberville, north of this new project and across I-10.

Smith, along with other founding partners Matt Phillips, Greg Wilson and Jay Wiseman, have overseen combined construction of $1.7 billion in projects, which includes 10 million square feet of development and redevelopment across 12 states. Wiseman adds $7 billion of acquisition experience to the company.

Among the many retailers the developers have worked with are Walmart, Target, Belk, Hobby Lobby, Burlington, Panera Bread and Costco, according to its website.

Shop on

Mayor Rusty Quave said he’s seen a lot of changes in D’Iberville in his 25 years in office. While the city didn’t wait as long for this project to get built as it did for its first casinos, it has taken years of planning.

“We are excited about the Galleria project and look forward to working with Rise Partners and Bobby Mandal to make this project a success as we continue to grow our great city,” Quave said.

D’Iberville built its retail and greatly expanded the shopping and restaurant areas along Sangani Boulevard and Promenade Parkway after Hurricane Katrina with tax increment financing bonds that help the developers pay for infrastructure.

Attached to this project is a $96 million tourism tax incentive. The city has agreed to forgo sales tax revenue generated by the shopping center for 15 years. Under the terms, the developers must invest $326 million and would need to generate $1.9 billion in sales to see the full $96 million rebate.

Mandal often has sited an independent study that shows Mississippi is losing more than $540 million a year in sales to neighboring states as residents go elsewhere to shop their favorite stores.

“We’re going to stop it,” he said.

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