GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) – Gulfport Mayor George Schloegel signed over a deed on Friday to the Gulfport Redevelopment Commission. That action gave the newly created commission the power to market and develop what's now being called Centennial Plaza.
"It's a great day in the history of Gulfport," commission member Don Mason said as the mayor signed the deed. Centennial Plaza is the old VA property on Highway 90.
Next to Commissioner Mason was Gulfport Chief Administrative Officer Dr. John Kelly. "I think the Centennial Plaza represents that opportunity to create a new town center for the city of Gulfport," Dr. Kelly said during the short ceremony.
After Hurricane Katrina, the VA no longer had a use for its waterfront property. So it worked out a deal with Gulfport to turn that property over to the city. Gulfport created a redevelopment commission. And on Friday, the commission became the property's landlord.
Gulfport's mayor hopes redevelopment commissioners will "take that treasured land and turn it into something that is an economic boost for our city, and a place where all the citizens of Mississippi can enjoy, for recreation, or for entertainment, or for cultural purposes for many generations to come."
Click here to watch video of Friday's signing and to take a video tour of the property.