Downtown Gulfport Courts New Business

The bagel bagged up for breakfast was carefully kneaded by Jean Baas in the back of her Courthouse Road restaurant.

"This store has been super to me," Baas said. "But I think all in all, the other store is going to allow me to hit a broader scope of the population."

The other store will have freshly made bagels and rolls in mid January. Java Jean's number two is being built under a canopy of oak trees, just two blocks from Gulfport's new federal courthouse. Baas said she like the downtown location because, "You've got a concentrated population now, ready for breakfast and lunch."

The courthouse has become a reflection of what many people think will be downtown Gulfport's rebirth. Already a new CTA parking garage is under construction. So is the 15th Place office complex. They're both within walking distance of the Dan M. Russell United States Courthouse.

"I can't wait to see it," said Psonia Wilson, as she stood across the street from the complex.

Wilson works for a Mobile law firm that wanted a South Mississippi office. Last month, she stumbled on the perfect location.

"We saw they were building the new courthouse, saw a space for rent, came in, we loved the building," she remembered. "The location is excellent. So we hung our shingle here."

Wilson's move to Gulfport is a story the city expects to hear a lot once the courthouse complex officially opens.

"We decided this was the one we wanted," she said. "And it was mainly because of the courthouse."