Gulfport Main Street to Host Pubic Meeting on Facade Grants
(Gulfport, Miss)— Gulfport Main Street Association will hold a public meeting to discuss the Downtown Gulfport Façade Master Plan Grant Program on Thursday, May 31 at 5:30 p.m. at the Gulfport City Hall Council Chambers.
The $3.6 Million grant program, funded by Mississippi Development Authority’s Community Revitalization program, will target the rehabilitation of building facades in the central business district. Mississippi Development Authority created the Community Revitalization fund by designating $150 Million in CDBG funds for recovery in downtown areas on the Coast. Cities submitted grant applications to MDA for programs specific to their needs.
“Gulfport Main Street spent a great deal of time talking with property owners, tenants and prospective developers and investors in the downtown area and determined that the poor physical appearance of the buildings downtown were prohibiting further development in the area,” Gulfport Main Street President John Harral. “Mississippi Development Authority, City of Gulfport Administration and City Council agreed that this program would have a significant impact on downtown, as well as the rest of the City.”
“The Façade Master Plan Grant not only provides a perfect opportunity to assist property owners who are finding it difficult to rehabilitate their buildings due to high insurance premiums and building costs, but it is also a chance for all of downtown Gulfport to get a much-needed face lift and update,” said Johnny Olsen, Gulfport Main Street Association Design Committee Chair and Intern Architect with Guild Hardy Architects, PA. “Because of the short timeline associated with this grant funding and the addition of the Streetscape Improvement Grant, Downtown will undergo a transformation unlike anything we’ve ever seen. As a life-long resident of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, I am extremely proud to be part of the re-birth of Downtown Gulfport.”
The grant program will coordinate and pay for the facade design and construction of buildings in the area that Gulfport City Council designated as “Downtown Gulfport,” which is also referred to as the “Central Business District.” Façade renovations will be done on groups of buildings within the same block at the same time, to provide a quick visual impact, but also to have some consistency in the design and construction while achieving the benefits of an economy of scale.
The program’s structure and requirements and grant applications will be available at the public meeting on May 31 and then will be available at the Main Street office in Gulfport City Hall, as well as via mail and email by request to LBradley@ci.gulfport.ms.us. Applications and information will be mailed to anyone who has submitted a letter of interest.
Downtown Gulfport will also be receiving a $7.6 Million streetscape update funded through the same Community Revitalization funds. The streetscape project will include boulevard restorations, street light replacements and new sidewalks and street furniture throughout the Central Business District.