DIAMONDHEAD, MS (WLOX) - The back road to Diamondhead has become the city's new hot spot. Several businesses have opened over the past few months along Kapalama Drive, and more are on the way.
A retail center and a general store are the latest to open their doors on Kapalama Drive.
"It's more convenient for me because I live in the back of Diamondhead. It saves me from going all the way in the front, which is a couple of miles away. Businesses are great back here. I think more should come back here," said Diamondhead resident Tommy Kelley.
Businessman David Dreher is about to grant his wish. The owner of nearby Gulf Coast Golf Carts was recently given site approval by the Hancock County Planning and Zoning Commission to build a 12,000 square foot retail shopping center.
"The back of Diamondhead is the future of Diamondhead," said Businessman David Dreher.
The strip mall will go up on property he owns on Kapalama, right next to his existing business. He said judging from his business success, he felt the time was right to open a door for others.
''My business has grown pretty much with record numbers every year and grows and grows and grows. We're one of the biggest dealers in the state right now," explained Dreher.
Dreher hopes to attract entrepreneurs of all kinds, but the people of Diamondhead have their own ideas of what kinds of businesses they'd like to see in the building.
"Auto Zone or something. Keep us from going all the way to Waveland or Walmart. I think it would be great for an Auto Zone to come back here," said Kelley.
Resident Christy Sauter had another idea.
"I'd love to see a Popeye's Fried Chicken over here," she said.
Resident Lisa Miceli would also like to see a restaurant locate in the building, but not fast-food.
"Maybe one of those hibachi restaurants? A Japanese restaurant."
If given final approval, construction could start in a couple of months.
The Hancock County Board of Supervisors could grant final approval for the project at its Board meeting Monday. Dreher said, unfortunately, the city of Diamondhead won't benefit from sales tax revenues from the businesses that locate in his building because the property is actually in the county.
Dreher said he's heard talk of Diamondhead leaders wanting to annex the area. But when asked, Mayor Tommy Schafer said he wasn't ready to speculate on what the future holds.