Construction work the new norm in downtown Gulfport - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Construction work the new norm in downtown Gulfport

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

By Doug Walker – bio | email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Signs of progress are everywhere in downtown Gulfport, from torn up street corners, to the construction on the new public safety center and library branch. 

From the 15th floor of the Hancock Bank building, Great Southern Club Assistant Manager Denise Miller looks below to see a downtown regaining its former glory.   

"I'm a native from here, so I remember when J.C. Pennys and Sears and the Paramount Theater were downtown and we've seen many changes, and this has been the best so far."

Hundreds of millions of dollars are being spent in downtown Gulfport to repair the streets and infrastructure and rebuild buildings, to erase the scars left behind by Hurricane Katrina. And despite the inconvenience, business leaders say it is well worth it. 

"Progress is a good thing," said Ernest Ulrich with the Port City Cafe. "I think long term, it's going to benefit everybody downtown." 

You don't have to look far to see that progress. And one of the men responsible for it is Ryan Nesbitt.  The company he works for laid down many of the new sidewalks.  Nesbitt said it's not an easy job.

"It's a lot of work from inside the buildings to outside the buildings, the streets and sidewalks," Nesbitt said. 

Back at the Port City Cafe, Ulrich sees the big picture the future holds for his business and others.  

"We're looking long term and I think it's going to be a good thing to generate new business and to make the downtown more attractive." 

And that's a feeling shared by many with a stake in the viability of downtown Gulfport.

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