Bay Architect Says New Project Inspired By Governor's Charettes

The triangle shaped lot on the corner of Main Street and Old Spanish trail is about to begin a new chapter in Bay St. Louis history. Architects John and Allison Anderson, who served as consultants during the Governor's charette process, will build a 6,000 square foot commercial and residential structure on the site.

"About a third of that will be our offices. About a third of it will be lease space for retail commercial space on the ground floor, a studio or a shop, something like that. Then upstairs, a two story loft residence," John Anderson said.

The building that stood on the property since the late 1890s was recently demolished. It survived many storms, but Katrina's water and old termite damage made it impossible to save. It had been the home to many businesses over the last 118 years.

"A lawn mower repair shop, a gas station, a cafe, a bar, grocery store. The last thing it was it was an upholstery shop," Anderson said.

Construction on the new building is scheduled to start in February at a cost of about $500,000.

"We think we've got a design that will be compatible with the neighborhood, but at the same time a little bit forward thinking. It's got something that looks a little funky over there, a tower with the residence in it. It also has some parts that look fairly traditional."

The goal is to make it a showcase for a green building design using reclaimed and environmentally friendly materials.

"When we tore the old building down, we saved as much of the wood as we possibly could. We're looking to build an energy efficient building with a kind of funkiness that we hope captures the spirit of Bay St. Louis."

Anderson expects the building to be open around September 2008. And there's already talk of 2,000 square foot expansion that could house more retail and commercial office space.