Katrina Community In Heart Of Ocean Springs - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Katrina Community In Heart Of Ocean Springs

In the historic railroad district of Ocean Springs off Government Street, two houses are going up. They are part of Cottage Square, a community of 20 Katrina cottages and modular homes, as well as offices and retail stores. This is where families can shop for a model they like, or they can choose to move in.

"It's a little quaint, old time village which the cities developed years ago," said architect Michael LeBatard. "There will be people living here with the white picket fences. This is the way it can be done where people live in harmony. It's a walking type of community."

Tolar, LeBartard, Denmark Architects of Ocean Springs is developing the unique village, after working on the Governor's Renewal Commission.

"What makes this community stand out is it's the first real Katrina cottage village ever to be built in the United States," said LeBatard. "It's an experimental village. It falls right into play with the Governor's Commission, and what needs to be done on the Coast."

The houses include the original Katrina cottage, which is 300-square feet. The biggest option is a 3,000 square foot home. The mayor says the factory-built houses capture the city's architecture, history, and strict building codes.

"I'm very excited that we can at least have a pilot program here in Ocean Springs," said Mayor Connie Moran. "People here are fiercely protective of the historical character and their property values in Ocean Springs. We want to ensure we have a variety of quality designs that would fit into our existing neighborhoods."

The firm is also working on a project that would offer the models over the Internet, or through a catalog. Which means all you have to do is choose the style of home you want, a kit arrives on your property, and you or your contractor can put the house together.

"What we're trying to do in our firm is to show the Mississippi Gulf Coast using private funds, not federal funding, what can be done," LeBatard said.

The homes cost between $30,000 and $150,000. You can even choose a model that comes fully furnished.

Cottage Square is scheduled to be ready by August 12th.

By: Trang Pham-Bui

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