GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - A struggling retail development in East Gulfport is getting an overhaul.
The owner and developer believes this is the right time and the right place to showcase a new vision of small business development.
It’s been a long process, but the renovation of the old Village Square at the corner of Ford Street and Pass Road is getting closer, and owner Jordan Nicaud couldn’t be more excited.
“You’ll actually walk in through there, and so, this will be the whole checkout area. That’s where you will bring all the items you want to purchase," Nicaud said. “The entrance will be right here, and this will be the entrance to the coffee shop area.”
The building, which used to be a mini-mall with frontage stores, is surprisingly large - close to 90,000 square feet.
“When we got the building, it was definitely in need of repairs, and as we were demoing it, it got bigger and bigger and bigger. And finally we were like, 'Wow. That’s a lot of space to fill up,” Nicaud said.
He originally purchased the complex in February 2019 to create more self-storage, but a new idea took hold.
Nicaud has a lot of developments throughout the Coast, but the concept of this one in east Gulfport is unlike anything he’s ever done.
“The main part of the property, we’re going to have a huge antique mall, and we’re going to do consignments. We’re going to do rental spots," he said.
It will be like an indoor flea market, consignment shop and business incubator for antique dealers and artisans.
“They pay a monthly rent for the area, they sell their items out of the area, we actually have someone who mans the whole area. So, it’s for someone who wants to start up and do a second job who can’t be there all the time," Nicaud said.
Plans are to include space for traditional small-business retail development along the outside, like the ones currently in operation.
Nicaud said it is a concept he has seen developed elsewhere, but not in South Mississippi.
“Being able to do this here is really awesome. We’re real excited. It’s kind of bringing back my childhood fun times," Nicaud said.
The new center will be called Mississippi Antique Galleria and is scheduled to open this March.