Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Two Future Retail Buildings to Pay Homage to Shapiro, Brewer

By Alyssa Schnugg
News editor

The two buildings will be built side-by-side off Oxford Commons Boulevard. Image provided by New Regional planning.

Two new buildings planned for the ever-growing Oxford Commons will be named after the late Ron “Ronzo” Shapiro and the late Homer E. “Billy” Brewer.

Charlie Scott, with New Regional Planning, said the two buildings will be side-by-side near the Commonwealth Boulevard and Oxford Commons Boulevard intersection.

“We’re still in the planning stage and our architects are working with the city to get the parking ratio right,” Scott said.

Ron “Ronzo” Shapiro

Each building will be about 12,600-square feet and be primarily retail, office and restaurant space. One building will be called “The Ronzo,” and the other, “The Brewer.”

Shapiro died in August 2019. Known as Oxford’s “favorite townie,” he operated the popular Hoka Theater – a bohemian coffeehouse/movie theater from 1975 to 1996.

Brewer died in May 2018. He played Ole Miss football under Coach Johnny Vaught and later returned to Ole Miss as head football coach where he became the second-winningest coach in Ole Miss history,

Blake Tartt, president and CEO of New Regional Planning, said the decision to name the buildings after Shapiro and Brewer was an easy one.

“Ron Shapiro was one of the coolest and friendliest people to ever walk the streets of Oxford,” he said. “Billy Brewer was a superhero and Ole Miss legend. Both symbolize what is so great about Oxford.”

Coach Billy Brewer

Scott said after the projects gain support from the city of Oxford’s Planning Department and Planning Commission, construction can begin after at least one business commits to renting space.

“It will probably be completed around the first quarter of 2022,” Scott said, who estimated construction to take about six months.