OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - The vision for a nearly 2-acre piece of property in the heart of downtown Ocean Springs was unveiled Thursday.
The property borders Church Street, with its beauty enhanced by live oaks and magnolias. The parcel is owned by the Applewhite family, who has a goal: keep the property green and for public use.
Following a Charette, led by landscape architects from Gulf Coast Community Design Studio, plans are now on the books. Improvements include restrooms, a catering kitchen, and a stage area for bands.
"It's a special place, even if only a couple of people come. There's something to do or if a whole group comes, it's a very flexible space that is kind of magical," David Perkes explained.
There was always one priority for landscape architect Elizabeth Englebretson.
"The main goal was to highlight the live oaks with the stage, not take away from the beauty of the live oaks and the beauty of the natural open space out there," said Englebretson.
Vicki Rosetti-Applewhite wanted something special, and now it just might happen.
"I've had a lot of ideas, and I've heard a lot of ideas, but to see someone actually put them in front of us in a way that everyone can collaborate and see a common vision, that's very exciting, Rosetti-Applewhite said.
Downtown business owners who saw the design plans are just as pleased.
"It is very exciting," said Cathy Reed. "As a music and festival lover, I know I would personally enjoy it and I think it would be an artistic topping for our city."
Everything looks good on paper - the plan, and the vision for the property - but as always, the bottom line question in such a case is how to pay for it.
"We'd love some community partners. We've been talking with the mayor about the plan, so it's time to get some stakeholders involved and see how to make it work," said Rosetti-Applewhite.
If it does work, the public will have a venue to enjoy for years to come.
The Applewhite's hope to meet with the mayor and other city officials in the coming days to get their input on the design, and discuss ways of making the project happen.