GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - One of the many properties on the coast left damaged by Katrina has been sitting vacant since the hurricane. But, the historic Centennial plaza's vacancy could end soon.
By as soon as next week, the developer of this 59 acre site hopes to announce its first anchor tenant to come to Centennial Plaza in Gulfport.
A spokesperson for the developer le Triomphe confirmed they are in the process of signing up other tenants and still have confidential contracts that must be finalized before they can make any announcements. In other words, nobody will disclose what lease agreements the group has signed so far.
Many we spoke to about the old Gulfport VA say this spot has been empty for too long.
"I do feel that they could have moved a lot faster in getting a tenant in there. When I drive by it is an eyesore as it is right now. And they do have the maintenance team keeping it up and everything, but there's a fence around it, so it looks like it's a prison cell verses something that would be nice and vibrant that would benefit the city," said Jeremy Flowers.
Teresa Bush says she knows how long it's taken other developments to open following Katrina.
"I think its patience after Hurricane Katrina. The one thing we've learned is patience. It takes time for things to rebuild and Jones Park is one of those things. So I hope it's going to be something really nice and fun like this," Bush said.
More expansive news about how the property will be developed could be unveiled by early October. But Flowers says he has a good idea of what he'd like to see put here.
"If it's condos, that would be great. If they renovated it and even put some nice restaurants, things like that, even if it was a small stage mall," he added.
Gulfport received rights to market Centennial Plaza after Hurricane Katrina. It entered into a development deal with the developer last October. That's when the developer said the plan for the property includes a community oriented, festival marketplace and traditional theme that could encompass retail, restaurant, office, hotel, and residential uses.