PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - In efforts to grow the city, Pascagoula officials hope to expand the city's housing market.
City leaders are working on a strategic plan to turn this empty land into a positive economic development.
"We have plenty of jobs. The problem is we have a shortage of houses, and we have a shortage of affordable houses," Mayor Dayne Maxwell said.
Pascagoula Mayor Dane Maxwell is focusing this initiative on middle class families. He believes catering to that demographic will help them collect more property tax to fuel the city.
"With more than 50 percent of our residents renting, we're looking at building homes from $125 thousand to $225 thousand," Maxwell said.
With little area to annex from surrounding land, Pascagoula leaders are looking within to see what they can develop.
The city is relying on the Pascagoula Strategic Planning Committee to spearhead the effort.
"What we do is we send out RFP's request for proposals to developers to find out who's interested. We took that one step further, we sent them a questionnaire: what do you need to know?" said committee chairman Richard Lucas.
The focus is on properties much like one at 5102 Old Mobile Highway. Standing a more than 76 acres wide, it could become a housing subdivision.
"We have a targeted area of 300 new homes," the mayor said.
While there is no timeline to get this process in motion, the subcommittee is working to lay the foundation to make these areas appealing to potential developers.
Leaders say the challenge they're currently facing is regarding flood elevation levels.