Businesses hope to cash in on popularity of new Hwy 67 - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Businesses hope to cash in on popularity of new Hwy 67

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

By Danielle Thomas – bio | email

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Some business are already looking to cash in on a popular new short cut between the coast and the Wiggins area. It's been more than a year since the new Highway 67 completely opened to traffic. Now there are enough drivers taking that route to spark commercial development.

Barbara White's family sold 13 acres of land so the Mississippi Department of Transportation could chart the new Highway 67 through northern Harrison County. Then the family spent years trying to sell what land the state didn't buy.

"We had it up for sale, then I told my son one day, 'We need to talk to the realtor or do something because this is not selling,'" White remembered. "He said, 'Let's keep it ourselves. We'll build us a service station, convenience store.'"

So Country Corner was born. The White family lives nearby and has seen the impact of not having a gas station on the new Highway 67.

"It is a long stretch from I-10 to Highway 49 in Stone County," White said. "That's the first gas station you come to. We've had people run out of gas. Come looking for gas and asking for help."

Just down the road, crews are building the new First Place gas station. The owner said the store will carry light groceries and have a Subway restaurant.

"I just think it's a good thoroughfare between the Wiggins area and the coast," said Wade Stegall. "I think it will be a highly traveled area because of the Promenade Mall. It's a 20 mile stretch of highway with no fuel, no restaurants, no really anything. So I felt it was a definite need out there."

Both owners are optimistic about future commercial growth, but said they don't expect it to happen overnight.

"I think I'm a little bit early being out there," Stegall said. "As you wait, land prices increase and it almost becomes infeasible for a small company like myself to wait for all the people."

The owners of both gas stations say they plan to open some time in July. The director of the Harrison County Code Office said there are no other applications submitted for commercial development on the new HIghway 67 at this time.

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