New building draws businesses, customers to downtown Ocean Springs - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

New building draws businesses, customers to downtown Ocean Springs

By Sylvia Hall – bio | email

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Business was booming in Ocean Springs Saturday. Crowds from the Herb and Garden Festival had the streets and stores full of people. The new building, 1000 Government Street, was no exception. The building has been officially open for about a week now and is drawing plenty of attention in Ocean Springs.

Katie Hinkel's store, Lee Tracy, is back in business, five years after Katrina washed it away.

"We're very glad to be back to doing what we love to do and just so happy to be here," said Hinkel.

"I'd always ride by and see if it looked like it was getting closer," said Alice Lashaussee, a loyal customer. "So it's exciting to see that Lee Tracy logo back on the Gulf Coast."

Over the years, the women's retail store has been located in several places across the coast and had just moved into the Grand Casino when Katrina hit. Now it's one of the several businesses located in 1000 Government Street, a new commercial building in downtown Ocean Springs. Hinkel and her customers said the store's return to the coast means progress.

"It's absolutely a sign of recovery," said Lashaussee. "I think when you are able to bring anything back to the way things were pre-Katrina. I think it does a little bit of healing."

Lee Tracy isn't the only store in the building with booming business. Grant's men's store next door is also seeing plenty of customers.

"It's been great," said owner Peter Grant. "We're getting wonderful reception, lots of sales, lots of excitement about our shop."

To Grant, the new building and the businesses inside it are a nod to the future of Ocean Springs.

"The reason I moved here and made such an investment is because I just believed Ocean Springs was about to explode," said Grant. "I think we're about to see things really take off here, and this building, I think is part of the rebirth of downtown, if you will."

Copyright 2010 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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