Possible developments coming to downtown Ocean Springs and its beaches

Published: Jun. 2, 2022 at 10:18 PM CDT
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OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (WLOX) - Soon, Ocean Springs could start to see more action on its beaches and the downtown area.

From better parking measures to more event spaces, some residents like Jonathan Sanders said they are ready.

“Downtown is awesome. It keeps growing, continues to grow. There’s all kind of restaurants, all kind of festivals and the nightlife if you’re into that,” said Sanders.

When the resident of 14 years isn’t with his family, he said he’s going where the tunes are.

“We love to go listen to live music. And of course, this time of year is our crawfish and a lot of good restaurants downtown,” said Sanders.

However, Sanders said if you’re not on time to an event then you’re out of luck.

“It’s a headache. If you get here late, you’re going to be walking a good distance. People park here at Freedom field. It’s not that far of a walk, about five or six blocks. In the big festivals parking is a big deal,” said Sanders.

Private developers are interested in placing a parking garage on Government Street to help ease the issue. Officials said hotel and retail spaces would be included on the lot as well.

“It will attract a lot of people just cause parking is easier, it won’t be as frustrating coming down here,” said Sanders.

Pleasant’s BBQ is two doors down from the lot and owner, Michael Pleasant, has been in operation for nearly 40 years. He said a garage could help reel in more customers.

“Well we have parking next door, so it’ll fill up and get a little tight. So parking is much needed in the downtown area,” said Pleasant.

City officials said they are working to split the cost of 1.3 million dollars for development at the Fayard property on front beach. The city’s plan is to have a marina, spots for food trucks and a pavilion for live entertainment.

“People want to get outside and enjoy the nice weather, and of course, hear any kind of live music. I would look forward to it,” said Sanders.

Sanders said while the paperwork is being finalized, he encourages folks to see the fun for themselves.

City officials said they’ve also received 2.8 million dollars in GOMESA funding. However, they would have to seek more due to the front beach development’s estimated cost of 11 million dollars.

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