Duany Says Gulfport's Development Opportunity "Is Tremendous" - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Duany Says Gulfport's Development Opportunity "Is Tremendous"

Swimming pools on the beach. Small craft harbor boat slips rented to downtown Gulfport condo owners. In Andres Duany's world, anything is possible.

Thursday, the acclaimed new urbanist architect held meetings with Gulfport business owners. He wanted to hear their thoughts about city development concepts before he designed a blueprint for Gulfport's recovery.

Mr. Duany and his design team are focusing their efforts on the Gulfport VA property, downtown Gulfport, the harbor area, and the city's sportsplex. Each location offers an opportunity for developers to invest in Gulfport projects that are aesthetically and environmentally pleasing.

"You've had your tragedy," Duany told a group of business owners.

Now, he believes it's time for Gulfport to implement a recovery plan that produces significant results.

"If things go on as they are, an awful lot of houses might be unpleasantly surprised by let's say apartment houses or high rises next to them," he thought.

Duany has a $400,000 contract with the city of Gulfport that among other things has him design the template for a mixed use development here at the Gulfport VA. He sees the VA site becoming "a first rate conference facility with some full time residences."

Gulfport gets the deed to the 93 acre waterfront property once the VA spends $20 million to rehab the 10 remaining buildings out here.

"The opportunity is tremendous, I mean the sites are empty. And things you could dream of are now possible," he said.

Before Duany and his team of new urbanist designers sketched out what the VA, and the neighboring downtown area could become, he met with Gulfport business owners. Rick Camarena owns several downtown Gulfport buildings. And they're all being renovated.

"We've gotta learn that there's new ideas and new challenges with FEMA flood elevations," Camarena said.

He also realizes Gulfport must "make everything look aesthetically nice."

The business group's thoughts about Gulfport's future blueprint will be blended into Duany's eventual designs.

David Andre had a museum in downtown Gulfport, until the storm washed it away.

"Hopefully we'll have the wisdom to follow these plans, so we don't end up with a hodge podge," Andre said.

Rough drafts of what Duany and the new urbanist architects see Gulfport becoming will be completed and left on Mayor Brent Warr's desk on January 31st.

Rick Camarena looks forwarding to seeing Duany's concepts.

"He's really trying to bring the aesthetics back to the 1920s and 30s where I think a lot of the coast residents want to see it come back," Camarena said.

Friday afternoon at 4:00, Duany wants to hear from Gulfport citizens. If you'd like to share your thoughts about Gulfport development in the future, go to the Handsboro Community Center on Switzer Road.

By Brad Kessie

  • NEWSMore>>

  • MS Black Caucus discusses HIV statistics

    MS Black Caucus discusses HIV statistics

    Sunday, July 23 2017 5:57 PM EDT2017-07-23 21:57:15 GMT

    A part of the morning work sessions focused on HIV/AIDS rates in Mississippi. 

    More >>

    A part of the morning work sessions focused on HIV/AIDS rates in Mississippi. 

    More >>
  • Neshoba's giant house party in high gear

    Neshoba's giant house party in high gear

    Sunday, July 23 2017 5:14 PM EDT2017-07-23 21:14:53 GMT

    Mississippi’s giant house party might not have the fanfare of 2016. But, it’s still a must visit event for families across the Magnolia State. 

    More >>

    Mississippi’s giant house party might not have the fanfare of 2016. But, it’s still a must visit event for families across the Magnolia State.

    More >>
  • WLOX Editorial: Do your work

    WLOX Editorial: Do your work

    Wednesday, July 19 2017 5:41 PM EDT2017-07-19 21:41:39 GMT

    We live in a wonderful time. We have the capability of instant communication with almost anyone at any time; all in the palm of our hands. We can stay connected to everyone all the time which is great - most of the time. There are times when we need to put aside our smart phones and do our jobs. 

    More >>

    We live in a wonderful time. We have the capability of instant communication with almost anyone at any time; all in the palm of our hands. We can stay connected to everyone all the time which is great - most of the time. There are times when we need to put aside our smart phones and do our jobs. 

    More >>
  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • After Craigslist scam, man can't enter his own home

    After Craigslist scam, man can't enter his own home

    Saturday, July 22 2017 8:29 PM EDT2017-07-23 00:29:14 GMT
    Saturday, July 22 2017 8:29 PM EDT2017-07-23 00:29:14 GMT

    The people inside rented the home from a mystery person on Craiglist. As the law stands, because they refuse to leave, Keith Mills now has to go to court to prove he’s the rightful owner.

    More >>

    The people inside rented the home from a mystery person on Craiglist while owner Keith Mills was on vacation.. As the law stands, because the renters refuse to leave, Mills now has to go to court to prove he’s the rightful owner.

    More >>
  • Police: Parents gave newborn drugs to cover up addiction

    Police: Parents gave newborn drugs to cover up addiction

    Sunday, July 23 2017 1:52 AM EDT2017-07-23 05:52:55 GMT
    Sunday, July 23 2017 1:52 AM EDT2017-07-23 05:52:55 GMT
    Colby Wilde, 29, and Lacey Christenson, 26, face four counts each of child endangerment and felony drug charges. (Source: Utah County Sherriff’s Office/KUTV/CNN)Colby Wilde, 29, and Lacey Christenson, 26, face four counts each of child endangerment and felony drug charges. (Source: Utah County Sherriff’s Office/KUTV/CNN)

    The baby’s mother used heroin and prescription pain medication during her pregnancy, and the baby was born addicted to drugs, police say.

    More >>

    The baby’s mother used heroin and prescription pain medication during her pregnancy, and the baby was born addicted to drugs, police say.

    More >>
  • Restaurant's policy limits those with kids to one drink

    Restaurant's policy limits those with kids to one drink

    Sunday, July 23 2017 2:50 PM EDT2017-07-23 18:50:46 GMT
    Sunday, July 23 2017 2:50 PM EDT2017-07-23 18:50:46 GMT

    A long-standing rule at Peddlers Bar & Bistro limits anyone dining with children to one alcoholic beverage, in order to hopefully limit the danger children face from drunk drivers.

    More >>

    A long-standing rule at Peddlers Bar & Bistro limits anyone dining with children to one alcoholic beverage, in order to hopefully limit the danger children face from drunk drivers.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly