GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The Interstate 10/Highway 605 connection could be for Gulfport what the Interstate 10/110 connection has become for D'Iberville.
On Highway 605, where signs for new businesses, churches and housing communities point to growth and new development, a new one hopes to make its mark. Allen Toyota has broken ground on a new dealership northeast of the Interstate10/Highway 605 interchange, right behind Sonic.
"This is going to become a major retail corridor, and I think we're the kick off point to get this thing rolling," said Jonathan Allen, Allen Toyota's Master Sales Manager.
"Highway 605 and I-10 all the way down to Highway 90 is a major corridor for the coast and great place for anyone to be doing business," Gulfport Mayor George Schloegel said.
While Schloegel says businesses have to do their homework before making moves in this economic climate, he says there are benefits to building now.
"This [Allen Toyota] is a testimony to moving right now, because prices are down more than they have been in many, many decades," Schloegel said.
With this project, the Allens said it's not just what you build but how you build it. From the architects to contractors, everyone involved in the project is local.
"Any dollars we can keep at home, that's the right way to spend them. We encourage our customers to buy locally, so we have to consider it ourselves," Jonathan Allen said.
"Without the support of this community, we wouldn't be anywhere close to this," said Scott Allen, Allen Hyundai's General Sales Manager.
With this major development now online, the city hopes it's just the beginning of a economic building boom via the I-10, Highway 605 connection.
The new dealership is set to open around this time next year.