New meets old in downtown Ocean Springs - - The News for South Mississippi

New meets old in downtown Ocean Springs

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For years, we've heard the term "mixed use development." A perfect example of that concept can be found in downtown Ocean Springs, where a new building is going up on Washington Avenue.  

The development fulfills a dream that's been five years in the making.  Fred Moran is the owner and developer and explains why it's going to be special. 

"We've got retail, a restaurant location, several office suites available upstairs and three apartments," Moran said. 

LuAnn Ellis looks over the space that will soon house her restaurant, Maison de Lu. Why is she moving in here?  

"For more space. This is like three times the size of what we have right now. Plus there's parking out back and we'll have a great big courtyard, so it will be really nice," Ellis said.   

In addition to fitting in with the look of downtown Ocean Springs, this building will offer something else: Plenty of strength to help it withstand future hurricanes. 

Dan Resch is the building contractor.  

"Mr. Moran wanted a building that would last a minimum of 50 years," Resch explained.  "He wanted it to stand up to hurricanes. And he's also had an engineer follow through with us to be sure it meets all the wind load regulations, so it's well built. It will be the place to be during a hurricane." 

Perhaps the most important of all the features are the majestic live oaks that drape the building. Every effort was made to incorporate them into the design, according to Moran. 

"The two oak trees out on Washington Avenue my family planted perhaps 40 years ago. So I'm very involved and interested in keeping those oaks to say alive and look as though they are part of the town streetscape," Moran said. 

Opening a new chapter in the history of downtown is an added bonus for Resch.  

"I'm really happy to be involved. Downtown Ocean Springs has always been a love, if you want to put it that way, of mine and this is an addition to that," Resch commented. 

The building should be finished by March 1, 2013. The price tag for the entire development is just over a million dollars.

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