Cottage Square To Be Unveiled In Ocean Springs

By Brad Kessie - bio | email

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - After the last hurricane, words like modular homes and MEMA cottages became part of our vocabulary. Architects used those home building concepts to design new ways to rebuild south Mississippi.

One example of their smart code philosophy can now be seen in Ocean Springs. A development called Cottage Square is the first Katrina cottage neighborhood. And it's about to make its debut on Government Street in Ocean Springs.

There's already a business in the square. Nikki Lucier works at Chez Salon -- a tiny cottage in Ocean Springs that architects transformed into a beauty shop.

"I like it. It's cute. It's kind of like a Utopian type of thing," the hair stylist said.

White picket fences and a variety of shade trees landscape Bruce Tolar's Cottage Square creation.

"This is the kind of example and result of what can happen if you were to adopt the smart code and put it into practice," said Tolar.

Right after Katrina, small cottages were marketed to hurricane victims as inexpensive ways to rebuild what they lost. Bruce Tolar decided to turn the Government Street location into a one of a kind Katrina Cottage neighborhood, a mix of small stick built houses, manufactured homes, and now, a collection of MEMA cottages.

"We're hoping to show that you really can't tell much difference," the Ocean Springs architect said.

On Wednesday, the first of four MEMA cottages was lifted off a trailer and onto its permanent foundation. It sits in the back of this smart code style development, just a few snips away from Chez Salon.

"It's all like perfect, cookie cutter houses," Lucier said. "It's just pretty. And everything is well done up and everything. They did a good job with everything."

Eventually, 19 permanent cottages that can withstand 150 mile per hour winds will be built on this two acre property. Tolar says the project is supposed to demonstrate how developers can create a quality neighborhood using nothing but small houses and cottages.

The Cottage Square developer will hold an open house all day Friday to show off the new Government Street neighborhood.