Pascagoula Makes Retail Village from MEMA Cottages

By Sylvia Hall - bio | email

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - They lace neighborhoods coast-wide, as a picturesque reminder that recovery from Katrina is still not complete. But in March of 2009, Mema cottages in Pascagoula will take on new life.

"If you have them why not use them," said 4th Ward City Councilman Frank Corder. "You have to make the best use of what you have, and if the government has been willing to invest this much into this program, why not add a little more to them?"

The city has plans to make a waterfront village out of the cottages. At first, residents will live in them, but gradually they will become home to small businesses. Pascagoula residents are excited about the project.

"I think it would help Pascagoula a lot. It would cause alot of people to come in and provide more business areas for people to visit," said Cheryl Jones.

"We need specialty shops, gift shops, that type of thing around here, because right now we have nothing," said Judy English.

In just a few months, a county-owned building on Delmas Avenue and adjacent to the waterfront will be torn down, and the city will roll in roughly fifteen cottages in its place.  It will be fully landscaped, with walking paths and a view of the water.

"It's not permanent, it's just a start, these wont be here 15 or 20 years from now," said Corder. "But it does give us a way to start attracting small retail business."

Pascagoula residents believe the city needs more projects like this one.

"We've got a lot of offices, that type of thing, which is not interesting to people you know. They want something they can spend their money on," English said.

The project is still in the early stages, but businesses should start moving in within the next two years.