Downtown Ocean Springs gets major makeover

By Patrice Clark - bio | email

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Ocean Springs' Downtown District will be revitalized thanks to a nearly $5 million federal grant.

"It is just as good a time as any to enhance our downtown and make it more viable, more attractive," Planning Director Eric Meyer said.

Meyer points out that the new Streetscape Project is broken up into two phases. The first phase involves enhancing the gateway into the city at Washington Avenue.

"We have on one side of the gateway, Marshall Park. Now on this side, the Chamber of Commerce Depot's parking lot is going to be transformed into a perfect place to have Peter Anderson Festivals, farmers' markets. It is going to be so much better."

City officials also plan to improve the walkways at four major intersections.

"Here on Washington, we are doing three. Also on Government we are doing one on Martin Luther King," Meyer said about the intersection projects.

"There will be slightly raised, brick paver walkways that will be more handicapped accessible to make sure that people are on dry land as they cross the street," Mayor Connie Moran said about the new walkways.

The second phase includes sprucing up Government Street with lots of green.

"We would like to make Government Street more like Washington.  We are going to be planning street trees and they are going to grow over Government Street."

Mayor Moran said this is just one of many beautification projects that will hopefully add more small town charm and draw people to Ocean Springs.

"Anytime you can create more parking, add more landscaping, continue to portray Ocean Springs as a clean and green community, you are going to attract more visitors, diners and shoppers to our area downtown."

A new beautification committee has also been formed and is made up of residents from every ward. The group will help monitor and address litter, lot cleaning, and other maintenance issues that affect the look of the city.

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