Home construction booming in Ocean Springs - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Home construction booming in Ocean Springs

In Ocean Springs, permits for new homes and renovations to existing homes are up. (Photo source: WLOX) In Ocean Springs, permits for new homes and renovations to existing homes are up. (Photo source: WLOX)
In addition to an upswing in residential building permits, city officials also say there's been a significant increase in commercial building permits, as well. (Photo source: WLOX) In addition to an upswing in residential building permits, city officials also say there's been a significant increase in commercial building permits, as well. (Photo source: WLOX)
OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) -

After years of slow growth, these are now good times in the construction business. In Ocean Springs, permits for new homes and renovations to existing homes are up.

Drive down just about any street in the city, and you'll see and hear the sounds of nail guns and saws. The turnaround began in recent months. 

"It was slow to start at the last of last year, and it has gradually picked up. We went from nothing to overwhelmed," construction supervisor Chris Page said.  

"There's been a big pickup in the construction industry since the first of the year.  Really towards the later part of last year," builder Nick Pollina explained. 

The city itself is attractive to many different demographics. 

"I think it's just a desirable place to be," said builder John Austin Maugh. "Everyone wants to be in Ocean Springs. We have a great school district and that kind of speaks for itself."

"A lot of people are are wanting to come and retire here." building official Hilliard Fountain said. "We have people coming in the purchase property and want to move here. We're happy with the increase." 

But all the residential construction, both remodeling and new home building, has led to a problem of sorts.

"It makes it hard to find good help," Page said. "When you need more bodies to put on jobs, everybody is in the same boat right now. They're picking up jobs left and right."

Pollina added those jobs will be here for quite some time. 

"It's going to be around forever. People are always going to need a house to live in. And people are always wanting to fix up what they already own and be proud of it."  

What's the outlook for the rest of the year? Maugh said, "I don't see us slowing down anytime soon."

 In addition to an upswing in residential building permits, city officials also say there's been a significant increase in commercial building permits, as well.

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