Possible Upcoming Developments in Downtown Ocean Springs and its Beaches

OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (WLOX) – Soon, Ocean Springs may begin to see more action on its beaches and in the downtown area.

From better parking measures to more event spaces, some residents like Jonathan Sanders said they were ready.

“Downtown is great. It keeps growing, keeps growing. There’s all kinds of restaurants, all kinds of festivals, and nightlife if you’re into that,” Sanders said.

When the 14-year-old resident isn’t with his family, he says he goes where the tunes are.

“We love going to listen to live music. And of course this time of year is our crawfish and a lot of great restaurants downtown,” Sanders said.

However, Sanders said if you’re not on time for an event, you’re out of luck.

“It’s a headache. If you arrive late, you will walk a good distance. People park here at Freedom Field. It’s not that far on foot, about five or six blocks. At big festivals, parking is a big issue,” Sanders said.

Private developers are interested in placing a parking garage on Government Street to help alleviate the problem. Officials said hotel and commercial spaces would also be included on the land.

“It will attract a lot of people just because parking is easier, it won’t be as frustrating to come here,” Sanders said.

Pleasant’s BBQ is two doors down from the lot and owner Michael Pleasant has been in operation for almost 40 years. He said a garage could help attract more customers.

“Well, we have a parking lot next door, so it’s going to fill up and get a little tight, so parking is a must in the city center,” Pleasant said.

City officials said they were working to share the $1.3 million cost for the development of the Fayard property on the front beach. The plan for the town is to have a marina, spots for food trucks and a pavilion for shows.

“People want to go out and enjoy the good weather, and of course listen to any kind of live music. I would look forward to it,” Sanders said.

Sanders said that while finalizing the documents, he encourages people to see the fun for themselves.

City officials said they also received $2.8 million in funding from GOMESA. However, they would have to look for more due to the estimated $11 million cost of the foredeck development.

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David H. Henry