“We were approached by a 99 cent store and it looked like that was the best we were going to get for the anchor tenant. But City leaders Mayor Curtistene McCowan & Mayor Pro-Tem Rachel Proctor wanted more for their city and my team agreed,” President Monte Anderson said. “When Mayor McCowan asked us for a new concept I said, ‘Well, I’ve been thinking about this small business development center idea,’ so we started collaborating with her and the Economic Development Corporation to make it something better. That’s how the center got its new name, DeSoto Market Place, and the anchor tenant became Grow Desoto.”
This private-public partnership allowed us to work hand-in-hand with the city of DeSoto to update the shopping center in tandem with new codes to quickly turn the space into a first of its kind in this region where an economic development corporation participates in the profits and serves as master tenant, subletting to over 40 incubator businesses in the 26,000sf anchor space.
“Everyone gets a return,” Anderson said. “It’s not just a lopsided deal where the developer gets all the money and the city gets nothing.”
A large focus for DeSoto Market Place is the continued mentorship that the Economic Development Corp and Options have implemented to help the tenants grow their businesses.
Given biennially by The Center of Development Excellence, the NCTCOG CLIDE Awards are meant to recognize private and public development programs and projects that exemplify the Principles of Development Excellence including Development Diversity, Efficient Growth, Environmental Stewardship and Educational Opportunity.
“It’s all about the development principles. If you look at our application and how it addresses each principle, you can see that those are core to who we are as an organization.”
Anderson hopes that in the future the current tenants of Grow DeSoto move on to also owning their own real estate and creating wealth for their families. In fact, Anderson hopes that one day a tenant from Grow DeSoto will own the shopping center.