National Park Service designates Downtown Pascagoula as historic district

The National Park Service has designated Downtown Pascagoula as a historic district.

The Downtown Pascagoula District, historically known as the Scranton Historic District, is roughly bounded by Krebs Avenue, Pascagoula Street, Convent Avenue, and Frederic Street. This month, the National Park Service designated the area as a historic district.

Pascagoula City Manager Michael Silverman said, “There is so much rich history here. Having our downtown now as an integral part of our history is just another key step in progress continuing to advance our goals in becoming the best community we can be.”

While this designation gives honor to the history of the district, it also aids in the revitalization of the area.

The federal government offers a 20 percent credit for the rehabilitation of historic structures used for income-producing purposes and the state of Mississippi offers a 25 percent credit.

Downtown Pascagoula Developer Ramsay Taylor said, “It makes it easier to borrow money against it, to renovate it and encourage developers like myself to look at other properties.”

Under the new designation, many buildings that were not originally eligible for the tax credits can now be recipients. Of the 84 properties that make up the district, 53 are considered eligible for the tax credits.

“There have been too many renovations done to the exterior of the building to where it would qualify, but now, since this building is within the district and was built within the time period, it now qualifies for these state and federal tax credits.”

Construction has already begun with plans to turn the rundown properties into small businesses such as restaurants, bars, and shops as well as apartments for out-of-city workers looking to move closer to home.

“If they start here in Pascagoula, we feel like they will meet someone here and end up making a family here, buying a home here, etc. If they start somewhere other than Pascagoula, those things happen in those communities, and if they’re going to be working here in Pascagoula, we want them to be living here.”

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