WAVELAND, MS (WLOX) - The city of Waveland is celebrating some good economic news. A developer has purchased some of the most visible and expensive commercial property in the city and is expected to build a new shopping center on the property.
It's one of two economic development projects underway in the city that show Waveland is bouncing back.
"We closed on the property for $685,000 which is the largest commercial transaction to close in Waveland since 2007," said Realtor Herbert Dubuisson.
Dubuisson and his real estate partner brokered the deal for the 13 acres of prime commercial property.
"The buyers have indicated they hope to be turning dirt in a month or two on a new shopping center. They didn't tell us who was coming, but they have some tenants. They have one anchor tenant. The great news is that vacant old property is going to turn into a thriving shopping center."
Before Katrina, there were 15 businesses located in what was called "Our Shopping Center." The Louisiana-based Bruno Brothers property management company plans to bring that retail opportunity back. Nearby business owners are elated.
"Economically, this is huge news. We can benefit from any increased traffic in this area, any increased activity. People coming and going and seeing that we're here," said Dawn Letellier, Co-Owner of the Waveland Pharmacy.
City leaders say a separate economic development project will bring a new Save A lot Grocery store to town. It will occupy the old Home Depot building off of Highway 90.
"I believe it shows really an indication that Waveland's starting to come back and come back strong. And hopefully we come back stronger than what we were pre-Katrina," Mayor David Garcia said.
The mayor said there are at least two more economic development projects being negotiated that he hopes to be able to announce soon.
Robert Bruno of the Bruno Brothers corporation told WLOX News he decided to purchase the Highway 90 property because of all of the post-Katrina infrastructure work that has been done in Hancock County. He said the area is starting to look like a place people want to live.