The City of Gautier today closed on the purchase of the former Singing River Mall property, a 55-acre parcel that will be revitalized as a Town Center.
The City was awarded $3.5 million in Gulf Coast Restoration Fund monies and $1.5 million from the state Legislature’s bond bill to help with the $5 million purchase.
The former mall was demolished in February 2014, and City leaders made it their top priority to secure and redevelop the site.
“This purchase has been a long time coming, and we are eager to make this property a mixed-use development that will serve our citizens and our visitors,” City Manager Paula Yancey said.
“We are planning to build a Mississippi Songwriters Performing Arts Center and turn this property into Gautier’s downtown area in complement to the new Town Commons Park, which will be located adjacent to the site across Dolphin Road,” she said. “Town Commons Park is already under construction.”
Redevelopment of the old mall site has been stifled for years due to the large size of the parcel, as well as a changing retail environment. Developers found they could not carry an expensive note on such a large piece of property, given that the property must likely be developed in phases.
The City’s decision to purchase the property means more opportunities for redevelopment, and the City has a preliminary development agreement with Blackwater Development Co., LLC.
In April 2019, House Bill 1724 was passed to approve Local and Private Legislation to allow the City to acquire the mall property and lease the land to a developer at less than fair market value in order to incentivize the development of retail on the property.
“The redevelopment of this prime U.S. 90 frontage property will alter the character of the City and give it a unique downtown feel,” Mayor Casey Vaughan said.
“We envision a Town Center where citizens and visitors dine, shop and do business on this property and then spend a nice afternoon playing Pickleball at Town Commons Park or catching a concert at the outdoor amphitheater during the weekend,” he said. “We want a space where you can do it all.”
The mayor and City Council would like to thank the city manager, the law firms of Butler Snow and Bordis and Danos, state Rep. John Read, the coastal delegation, the Brumfield family, and city staff “for their support and their hard work that led to making this special day happen,” Vaughan said.