WAVELAND, MS (WLOX) - It's been nearly two-years since the owners of Claiborne Hill Grocery Store in Picayune announced they would open a store in Waveland. Claiborne Hill purchased the Hurricane Katrina Damaged Save-A-Center Building on Highway 90 and planned to renovate the structure and transform it into a beautiful super-market.
In spite of the long delay, the owners say their plans have not changed. And that's good news to many Hancock County residents. You see, before Katrina, there were five major grocery stores south of Interstate 10. Post-Katrina, there is only one option: the Walmart Supercenter in Waveland.
"I get asked, it seems like almost every day from people shopping here from close to the coast, always telling me they're ready for another store. They want another option," said Garrett Acquistapace.
Acquistapace manages his family's grocery store in Picayune. He said recent renovation work at that store is partially to blame for the delay in opening the super market in Waveland.
"First of all, it took us a lot longer to finish this project here than we would have liked. We kind of taken our resources , time and efforts and putting them into this project to get this completed. But also, I won't deny it, it has been a lot tougher to get everything finalized with the financing."
However, Acquistapace said the Waveland project is now moving forward.
"Right now we're still on track to do the store. We have a loan commitment. We've got our plans about 98 percent finished. We're just fine tuning a couple of things."
Acquistapace said Hancock County residents can expect the same amenities offered at the Picayune store, but with one big difference. The Waveland store will be larger.
"About 7,000 square feet larger than this store here. But we will still have produce, seafood, meat market, deli grocery, bakery, so it will still have the same offerings as this store."
As for when the work might begin, Acquistapace said, "It may be as soon as a few months, possibly, it could be longer, but I hope not. We're anxious to get down there."
The Waveland store will employ between 75 and 100 people. The owner said once the renovation work starts, it should take eight to ten months to complete the work.