Big dreams in Pascagoula: A transformed riverfront

City officials are hopeful that if this development becomes a reality, it will mean more people, more development, and more business in downtown Pascagoula.
City officials are hopeful that if this development becomes a reality, it will mean more people, more development, and more business in downtown Pascagoula.
Jim Estabrook heads up the Pascagoula Redevelopment Authority. Harry Schmidt is the city's economic development director. Estabrook said they share a common vision.
Jim Estabrook heads up the Pascagoula Redevelopment Authority. Harry Schmidt is the city's economic development director. Estabrook said they share a common vision.

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - City officials in Pascagoula have big dreams for a piece of riverfront property that spans several acres. That's why they are reaching out to private developers they hope share in those dreams.

When you look at the riverfront property, you can see the potential.  It could someday look spectacular.

Jim Estabrook heads up the Pascagoula Redevelopment Authority.  Harry Schmidt is the city's economic development director.  Estabrook said they share a common vision.

"Our vision is principally a combination of mixed use residential, retails and an office building."

The city is accepting proposals from potential developers of the property. Several have expressed an interest. Financing doesn't seem to be a major problem that it was two years ago, according to Estabrook.

"I think the fact that banks are looking for good loans, and we're looking for a strong developer will be a really good combination to get this off the ground," Estabrook said.

City officials are hopeful that if this development becomes a reality, it's going to be like the old saying, a rising tide lifts all boats. That means more people, more development, and more business in downtown Pascagoula.

"That's the goal," Harry Schmidt said. "We want to see an office complex with workers down here. We want to see new business and residential opportunities down here, and all that will benefit the entire downtown area."

That downtown area includes the shopping village Anchor Square. Lillian Wall and her husband operate a small business in the village. Lillian said a mixed use development in the heart of downtown is something they would like to see.

"I think it would be wonderful for all of Anchor Square and the downtown area because it's just been kind of sleepy all these years," Wall said. "I was born in here in Pascagoula and I think that this is just a dream for something like this to happen."

If the pieces fall into place, a development here may not be a dream too much longer.  The city has set a deadline of 30 days for developers to express an interest and submit preliminary plans to the city.

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