Vacant OS grocery store could be re-born in a new form

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - The building has been empty for so long, no one remembers how many years it's been closed. Ocean Springs Mayor Connie Moran says that could change as a result of action taken at City Hall.

"A lot split is when the Board of Aldermen approve separating one parcel into at least two pieces, and that's what they have done here as the first step," said Moran.

The next step would be to sign the final papers, demolish the middle section of the complex, and build a Neighborhood Market. For most of the business owners in this shopping complex, two themes run true. Number one, they have been very frustrated sitting next to the empty vacant building for so many years. Number two, they're glad to see something finally happening.

Alan Triplett hopes the new business will lead to stirring up more lattes in the future at his coffee shop.

"Oh, we're excited about having the incoming traffic coming in. We feel it's going to bring a tremendous amount of benefit to not only us but all the small businesses here," said Triplett.

A few more aspiring young gymnasts might show up at another business, where Christi McMillian is the owner.

"Oh, I think it would be great for this entire area, the complex and for our business because it will bring a lot of people in," said McMillian

More packages could be weighed at the UPS Store.

"We've seen new businesses come to the area and we just miss our center, and this is just a very exciting time to see a Neighborhood Market," said owner Gloria Turner.

More eyes might be looking at the menu at Lenny's, owned by Doug Wood.

"I think it's definitely going to increase the traffic. Hopefully generate some business here in the center. Build up sales, all that sort of good stuff," said Wood.

Moran said there is still work to be done.

"With economic development projects, you have to wait till you see them pouring the foundation and coming up with the building before you can say this is a done deal," said Moran.

For some, the deal can't come soon enough.

Even is the deal is given final approval by all the parties involved, and all the permits are issued, it could be several months before any construction would begin on a new store.

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