Since the storm, very few businesses have opened their doors South of the railroad tracks on Courthouse Road, but north of the tracks it's a different story. New businesses have been popping up, old ones have been reopening, and local developers are paving the way for even more commerce along the busy street.
"What we've done here is we've removed a little lounge that was in existence for about 40 years, and we've built about a 15,000 foot strip center," said John Ruble of Bayou Gulf Holdings, LLC.
The development, Courthouse Station, will be a retail and office complex. Half of the office space has already been leased out. Developer Don Halle says it won't be long before businesses in the complex are up and running.
"We hope to have our first tenants here in sixty days. We have a deadline here we are trying to meet," Halle said.
Developer John Ruble says choosing the Courthouse Road site for the complex was an easy decision to make.
"The first reason is it's not south of the tracks and it didn't flood, and as you can see, we went up on a 36-inch chain wall above the pre-Katrina levels, so it helped us with our flood insurance, and it helped us with our wind insurance," Ruble said.
A sporting goods business across the street is also set to open soon. Ruble sees these developments along Courthouse Road as an opportunity for partnership and growth not competition.
"I think what we do is we work together to help each other. There's a new unit that just went in north of us, and they have mercantile and office lease space, so we're all looking for the same opportunity. In my opinion, Courthouse Road is the new east business district of Gulfport," Ruble said.