OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - What was once a rundown area of Ocean Springs is being quickly transformed into a cottage community that will offer affordable workforce housing. And it just might bring some new customers for businesses along Government Street.
The Cottages at Oak Park are quickly coming out of the ground. Joe Cloyd is developing the project, and sees a bright future ahead for the area.
"It's a great location," Cloyd said. "It's across from Oak Park Elementary School, near the Boys and Girls Club, there's a public transit stop right across the street, near Broome's Grocery, and we're just excited about redeveloping this part of Ocean Springs."
Cloyd said this project is putting the state to work.
"The wall panels here were made in Meridian, Mississippi with Mississippi lumber. Our contractor is from Mississippi. We're buying our lumber here locally with Bailey."
And the homes aren't just beautiful, they're also built to withstand the strongest of storms.
"We got a lot more strapping out there than it looks like we need, but that's the way it was designed," Site Supervisor Bill Livingston said. "We're using special hold downs that go all the way down in our pier concrete footing. And as far as the strapping goes, 32 inches on center for a large strap and then we go back and double the straps in all the windows and openings."
The cottages will also house potential customers. That's the hope of Mike Lindsey, who runs an auto repair shop directly next door.
"There's always a chance of that, a good chance really," Lindsey said. "I know everybody around here could use any kind of anything that would help with their businesses, that's for sure."
Rent for the Cottages at Oak Park will start at about $600 a month. There are a total of 29 units in the complex. They should be move in ready by the first of June.
Cloyd said a similar project consisting of 42 units is about to begin construction in downtown Pass Christian.
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