SOUTHAVEN, MS -- The International Trade Corridor is one more change for booming DeSoto County. Interstate 69 is complete in the county, and work will soon begin on the second part of the project, Interstate 269. The road will bring more traffic the county's way, and with it more people and business. Residents say the changes are both good and bad.
"This is a huge game changer really for the entire region," says Jim McDougal, DeSoto County planning director.
When completed, Interstates 69 and 269 will stretch from one side of Mississippi to the other. It's just one small part of an International Trade Corridor.
Ray Adams knows all about it.
"We're down to four and a half acres now. They already took two and a half of it," he says.
Adams sold that land to the state when they were building I-69. His remaining property is up for sale now.
"We're going to try to get a commercial buyer in there," he says. "Walgreens or a truck stop or something. That's what we're hoping for."
About 320 people own property along the interstate. Several, like Adams, came to the DeSoto Civic Center to discuss plans for development.
"We've had quite a few people talking to us," Adams say. "We just want to see what they're going to do, what the planning commission is going to do."
County planner Jim McDougal is in charge. He says the possibilities are endless and sees it as a huge draw for new business.
"Location, location, location is what you always hear in real estate and we're right in the middle of all this activity."
The entire highway will run from Toronto, Canada to Monterey, Mexico. DeSoto County is situated right in the middle of it all.
Realtor Diane Stribling says her clients are concerned about the highway.
"You have some people who've lived there 30, 40 years. It's home to them. Now they have to give that up. If the businesses come, that could be a good thing or bad thing."
McDougal says no one will be forced to sell their land, and that the planning commissions wants to hear from every land owner and make the development decisions together.
When completed, Interstates 69 and 269 will stretch thirty miles from DeSoto to Marshall County.