WAVELAND, MS (WLOX) - Residents in Waveland say they want Coleman Avenue to look more like the main drags of other coast cities with stores, restaurants, and foot traffic. Waveland resident Winsel Loyd says he hopes the tax abatement passed Thursday brings more business to one of his city's main roads.
"One of the nicest things about Waveland is it's not commercial on the beach," Loyd said. "Where we want the businesses is on Coleman, where it won't interfere with the beach."
The tax abatement ordinance was put together by Waveland Mayor Mike Smith's economic development committee, and will give tax breaks to businesses that choose to set up along Coleman on a case-by-case basis.
"Depending on the type of business and investment they bring, it will be based on five-percent increments all the way up to a 100 percent tax abatement for a 7-year period," Smith explained.
The mayor said if the city gives a tax break to a business, he'll ask the county to give them a tax break as well. He hopes the move will revitalize the Coleman Avenue district, an area that has struggled to come back since Hurricane Katrina.
"I'd like to see restaurants, condos, they used to have them here," Smith noted.
The Coleman Avenue district goes from St. Joseph Street to Terrace Avenue, and from the railroad tracks down to the beach.
It's an area that Loyd says he and his wife hope will soon be home to more restaurants and shops like he enjoys in other nearby towns.
"I think a lot of projects sitting there, and there's a realization that they're going to other places, like Long Beach, Pass Christian, Bay St. Louis. They're really growing rapidly. I think Waveland needs something to draw them this way," Loyd said.
Mayor Smith said the tax abatement will go into effect within a month, after a 30-day comment period that's now open to the public.