GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - Gautier residents now have a better idea of what their new, 32-acre park will look like.
Renderings for Town Commons Park, which will be on property behind Singing River Mall, were revealed on Friday.
"We'd like for that to be a cool, hip place to go hang out for the day. Lots of amenities. Lots of things to do," said Economic Development and Planning Director Chandra Nicholson. "We plan to have a really nice water feature with lots of little seating areas. A place that you could go get married. A place you go have a picnic for the day, family reunions."
Renderings also show a skate park, playground, volleyball courts, boat docks and an amphitheater. City officials say it's important to have diverse types of entertainment to help draw people of all ages.
Another important factor includes activities for teenagers.
"Our youth needs things that they can do to where their little mind doesn't scroll to the bad things," said Mary Martin, council member at large. "We have so much of it out there that the youth can pick it up. We need something to entertain them and to keep them busy, to keep their minds off of the bad stuff."
There will also be a commercial component to the new outdoor area — cottages to attract small business owners.
"I envision that to be more like start-up restaurants. So if you want to get something to eat, you can go visit this area," said Nicholson. "This little village of restaurants. It'd be much more feasible for a mom and pops style restaurant to start up if you already have the building and the restaurant equipment, which is the big expense to starting out a restaurant."
Gautier officials say they have about $500,000 to get started on the park and will continue to look for funding. Leaders also say they are currently getting all the environmental requirements met and hope to break ground on phase one, which will include parking, playground, volleyball courts and perhaps the skate park in eight months.