GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - Leaders in Gautier are looking forward to what they believe will be the next big economic hot spot along Interstate 10. Gautier officials say next month a ground breaking is scheduled for a new multi-million dollar medical complex at I-10 and Highway 57.
City officials believe the project will be a catalyst for even more development.
Gautier's mayor said every day there's a new inquiry from someone interested in opening a business in Gautier. He gives the credit to the city's economic development team, which he says has been working in overdrive. Mayor Gordon Gollott believes Gautier is on the cusp of an economic boom.
After years running a home based business, three months ago Tina Hansen and Sherry Burroughs decided it was time for a store front. The business partners said there's no place they'd rather have Unique Bowtique than in Gautier.
"Because we live in Gautier and we want Gautier to get better," said Burroughs. "The community to get better. The businesses to come. Build it up in Gautier so that more people will shop here instead of going over to D'Iberville and places like that."
Crews are inching closer to finishing demolition of the old Singing River Mall to make way for a new shopping center. Even as the walls come down, Gautier's mayor says new relationships with prospective retailers are being built.
"The developer of the mall, he is presently at a convention now in Atlanta looking at tenants to possibly bring them into our new Singing River Mall town square that we have here," said Mayor Gollott. "There will be multiple shops. There will be a splash pad, kids park in there. Small shops. It's going to be a lifestyle center rather than what you call as a shopping mall."
City leaders are looking to create a second business hub at Highway 57 and I-10 near where Bienville Orthopedic Specialists is set to build a new medical complex. The mayor says the project is sparking at lot of interest from developers.
"Hotels and restaurant chains and any other medical related business are looking at some of the property out there. We're already getting inquiries from other from other types business, retail, to move into that location. We've worked with MDOT to improve the roadways out there so it's going to be an economic boost," said Gollott.
"What you want to do is you want to create an economic development cluster area. We've done that with Singing River Mall. That's going to be our next one out there with the Highway 57 and I-10 exchange and it will be again good for our city."
The mayor said millions have also been spent improving the facade of local business in order to help spark economic development.