Marla Tigner has seen many changes to Midtown Pointe, the building she has come to love. Years ago, before Tigner took on her position as mall manager, the Tupelo Mall was located within these walls. It housed mainly retail clothing stores, a speckle of food establishments and a few other outlets until the Mall at Barnes Crossing was built in 1990. In 1994, this property was bought by six local businessmen aiming to revitalize it as Gloster Creek Village. The entire building received a makeover, including the addition of a food court, the converting of unused areas into office space and the purchasing of the old Sears store property by North Mississippi Health Services.
In 2012, Gloster Creek Village was sold and the new owners decided to focus more on making this building a medical and professional complex. Most recently the name was changed to Midtown Pointe and was given a facelift to give it a more uniform look. During that time, Tigner was moved from office manager to mall manager in order to provide the best service possible for the tenants.
“If any tenants have any issues, they call me. It could be AC, could be light bulbs. Anything they need. And then I contact who we need to make sure the issue is handled and they are taken care of.” said Tigner.
Currently Midtown Pointe is nearing complete capacity of its 286,000 square foot building. “We have two spaces available for rent. Combined they are right at 4,500 square feet total. My boss did an awesome job when he bought this place. I’m not dogging the old owners in any way. I love them too. But when Chris Mills bought this mall, he had a vision as co-owner, and he ran with it.” Tigner said.
Being a mom to one daughter, a step-daughter and a step-son, Tigner admits she is blessed to have such a great job that allows her time with her children when needed. “I truly have a great boss. My oldest has medical issues, so I have to miss work monthly with her. My job allows me the opportunity to go and take care of her. I know not everybody has that. But I am also here 40 hours a week, many days early.”
Tigner respects mothers who stay at home to raise their kids, as well as those who work full-time and cram in extra-curricular activities and homework. She knows first-hand, working full-time and parenting is a balancing act. But as a mother of teenage girls and a pre-teen boy, sometimes she finds she second guesses herself. “I feel like they don’t need me right now. You know? Unless it’s five o’clock and they’re hungry.”
She laughs and adds, “But then, well, my birthday was last week and my daughter wrote me this two page letter. And I squalled in the first two sentences. So it’s like, oh my gosh! I’m doing something right.”
Just like being a mom, Tigner incorporates her job into a part of who she is. “My hope for Midtown Pointe is that it continues to thrive. I know it’s not mine. But I want everybody to be happy. I spoke with a maintenance man about painting a door the other day. He asked me if I wanted it stained or painted. I told him that I wanted it painted, because I want my mall to match. He said, ‘It ain’t your mall, Marla.’ Which no, it’s not, but it is. It’s my baby. I’m here more than I am my own home. You have to love what you do. And that is something I can say absolutely. I love my job.”
By Amanda Jewel Warren