New D'Iberville town green may spur more interest in downtown

By Danielle Thomas - bio | email

D'IBERVILLE, MS (WLOX) - D'Iberville leaders say their strategy to spurring economic development downtown is to "go green." The city council awarded a $963,000 bid Tuesday afternoon for a new town green and visitors center. Officials say what's going on at the two acre site is just the beginning of what they envision.

Council member Brenda Broussard represents downtown D'Iberville, an area where she says businesses have struggled since Katrina.

"There's really not that many residents living in my ward," Broussard said. "There is a few that came back, but not near what we lost."

D''Iberville city leaders say they believe the creation of a town green will go a long way in bringing people back to downtown.

Mayor Rusty Quave said, "Green space is great. I mean downtown Biloxi has a green space  right in front of the Hard Rock Casino. They have all their festivals there. Well, guess what. We'll have all of our festivals here. Each turn of the season, we have a new festival."

The town green will include a 5,700 square foot visitors center that will face Central Avenue which the city plans to widen and spruce up. The mayor said with the possibility of casinos on the horizon, a town green could have a role in future economic development.

"This is the start of the redevelopment of the whole master plan for the D'Iberville Development District with the hopeful beginning of some big projects on the water front. This project will kick it off," Mayor Quave said.

"We've got some major developers that would knock your socks off if you knew who they were and they want to come in, based on a casino coming on the water front."

D'Iberville city officials say crews are scheduled to break ground on the new town green in the next 30 days. Construction should be complete in about nine months.

©2009 WLOX. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.