GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - "I think it's important to try and preserve our history and this was a great opportunity to move into a great space in downtown, utilize it and put it to a new use," said Eric Brown, President of Trustmark Bank for the Mississippi Coast.
Originally the Hatten Building served as Gulfport's bus station. Now Trustmark Bank and Horne CPA Firm share the first floor.
Lance Wedgeworth bought the building a year and a half ago. He said he couldn't pass up the chance to repair what he calls a historic treasure.
"It's construction is what initially attracted me because the building is solid concrete," said Wedgeworth. "Every floor is concrete, steel metal studs so this building's been through a lot. It's been through Katrina and Camille."
The Hatten Building renovation is just the latest of it's kind in Downtown Gulfport and more is on the way. City officials said a boutique hotel has purchased a property just across from the Hatten Building on 24th Street.
"15 years ago it was dead," said Wedgeworth. "You come down here now and you see new businesses popping up everyday, building things and the new aquarium coming soon. These older buildings are coming back to life and that's what it's all about."
Construction in the Hatten Building isn't finished. The top floor is currently being renovated and Wedgeworth is looking for someone to fill the space.
Miss Mississippi Hannah Roberts was at the Grand Opening for Trustmark Bank on Tuesday.