It’s no secret Downtown Gulfport is constantly changing and it doesn’t look like things are slowing down anytime soon. The Gulfport Main Street Association is working on a project to attract even more people to the area.
Phase two of the Master Economic Development and Design Plan is well underway in Gulfport. Main Street Association Director Laurie Toups said, “We are going to build the Backlot Project. It’s going to be built out of cargo containers and other aspects of building and it’s going to be anywhere from eight to 14 different units depending on the sizes. We’ll have even more skill plans eventually for people to look at. We’re working on a prototype right now so we can get that out there and build the excitement of what’s going on.”
Toups says bringing something like this to the city requires all hands on deck. “Gulfport Main Street is partnering with the City of Gulfport because without their assistance and working with them with the land and the property we would not be able to bring this to the community. We also have private partnerships with some of the entrepreneurs and businesses in the area mainly Coast Roast and Pop Brothers. They will be working with us on these projects.”
Toups says they are starting to put together the guidelines for the applications for retail, hospitality, and small business owners. Coast Roast employee Paola Sandoval says she is looking forward to the future. “As a local business we are really excited about the whole project because it’s going to bring in more business for smaller businesses like us and it’s going to help improve business in the future.”
Gulfport Public Information Officer Lashaundra McCarty said, “It would be great to have a creative and innovative way to build community as opposed to people feeling more locked in that space. It will be more creative, a little more dynamic, and it is something that you see in some larger cities. To see Gulfport bring that here I think is really awesome.”
City leadership is looking to break ground on the backlot project by the end of this year.