A2H was engaged by the Oxford-Lafayette County Economic Development Foundation (EDF) to lead a master planning effort to clarify its vision to transform the Max D. Hipp Industrial Park. The goal is to transform it from a typical industrial environment into a campus that has an image that will attract the best high quality and technical industries that are entering the workforce today.
The synergistic community of Lafayette, Oxford, and the University offer people that are innovative and qualified for the types of job opportunities these high-tech companies need to operate. The transformed campus will enable the community to grow into a position that will continue to attract the high-quality businesses that look to benefit from the quality workforce offered and that MDA and TVA wish to recruit.
The EDF will capitalize on the already planned and funded West Oxford Loop roadway improvements that will bring better connections to assets that complement these high-tech industries.
Currently, the western 165 acres has very little road access. The West Oxford Loop will connect Highway 7 and the industrial park to west side of Oxford and Highway 6. This will give existing industries and new industries and their employees much better access to wide ranging residential areas. This also opens opportunities for existing and new industries to have direct routes to other major markets and metropolitan areas. Perhaps the best asset the new road brings is the connection to the rest of the community.
The new West Oxford Loop and other roads in the park will be lined with street trees and evergreen trees to buffer the views of the larger existing industrial buildings. This route will become an asset as it brings the community to and through the transformed high-tech campus.
The undeveloped 165 acres on the west side is fully wooded. It has some severe topography and deep ravines and streams.
These features are typically seen as undesirable for an industrial setting, as they are unbuildable, especially for businesses requiring large buildings. The plan for the transformed campus, however, is to capitalize on these natural features. Trees will be selectively thinned, and trails will be developed along the streams. This will create the environment of a park instead of an industrial area. Not only will those that work here enjoy it, but it will become a place that invites the community to come and enjoy.
The industrial park will no longer be a place on the outskirts of town that is perceived as a place of unsightly industry but will be a campus that portrays the type of image typical of Lafayette, Oxford, and the University of Mississippi.