Gulfport Revitalization Becoming Reality - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

07/27/05

Gulfport Revitalization Becoming Reality

Nearly five years after being put up for sale, the Hewes and Toggery buildings in downtown Gulfport are set to have new owners August 30--owners who plan to build up the historic buildings and business in the area.

"On the Hewes building, we're talking about the top three floors actually being condominiums. The second floor of both buildings of the Toggery and the Hewes building would be office space," said Cliff Thomas, a realtor for Owen & Co. Realty.

The buildings are just two of several in downtown Gulfport that have recently been sold.

"Bonjour was converted about two years ago, and that was the first building, and several buildings have sold on 24th Avenue to 13th Street. We just sold one on 13th and that's going to be done for studio apartments," Thomas said.

Thomas says years ago, selling buildings in downtown Gulfport seemed like an uphill battle, but "there has been some more interest lately, since the condos have come to town."

John Harral is President of the Gulfport Downtown Association. He agrees the coast condo boom is helping to revitalize downtown Gulfport.

"I've been saying that we're just on the cusp of great developments in downtown Gulfport for a number of years, but I really think that's true now because of all of the tremendous activity that's happening throughout the coast," Harral said.

Thomas's realty company still has three more properties listed for sale in the downtown area. However, he says it won't be long before they're sold and become part of the "new face" of the downtown area.

The company that is set to take ownership of the Hewes and Toggery buildings, Bienvenue Homes, also has plans to develop condominiums in Long Beach.

by Toni Miles

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