Big news for the City of Gautier as funding to purchase and redevelop the Singing River Mall property has been secured.
Purchasing the former Singing River Mall property has been a years-long process for the City of Gautier. Now, that goal is becoming a reality. Gautier Mayor Phil Torjusen said, “We’ve figured out the best way to go about it and get it at little bit of risk or none to our citizens and that’s what we’ve done, we’ve figured out how to do it and we’ve done it.”
Along with some city funds, three-and-a-half million dollars in Gulf Coast Restoration fund money and one-and-a-half million dollars from the legislature’s bond bill will go towards the purchase of the 55 acre site, allowing Gautier to develop a town center there. “We’re going to have all kinds of mixed use. Retail, we’ll have restaurants, grocery stores and possible housing for some workforce ready people, so we can recruit people from all over the country to come here, go through workforce ready, and get a job.”
City officials say the project not only brings an economic boost to Gautier, but also enhances the city’s character as well. Mayor Phil Torjusen hopes the site can be a place for families to relax and have fun, just like the mall that came before it. “Our citizens have been wanting this, our children that used to come here, the ones that came up now didn’t have anything, we’re going to be able to give it back to them.”
But for now, the city plans to work closely with Blackwater Development Company to determine the layout of the new site and a timeline for construction and completion. “Everything that’s approved there will have to come in front of the council for approval. We will actually have a big say so in how this thing’s developed going forward.”