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Hattiesburg to expand downtown to protect business investments

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Hattiesburg’s Historic Conservation Commission wants to provide more protection to the downtown historic area. Historic Commission Coordinator, Russel Archer, said expanding the city’s historic area will provide more protection under the existing city’s local ordinance.

“It would provide some protection to the resources that are already in the district and give everyone a better feeling about investing in that are because they know that the things that are special and unique to our downtown would be retained and preserved,” Archer said.

This would ultimately offer protection and preservation to commercial businesses that would be able to confidently invest in downtown. The plan to expand downtown will also include adding five areas under the ordinance.

“We have things as simple as a parking lot in Town Square Park that don’t really have any built resources, but they are an important part of the district. We also have the railroad switching yard the area around the old Rice’s potato chip plant,” Other areas include Mobile street and a couple blocks of Hardy street that leads into downtown.

“We don’t have a firm timeline but we are certainly working towards sending all our information that we’ve compiled to the state’s department of archives and history they are required to review and endorse the plans,” Archer explained.

Once the conservation commission gets word back from the department of archives and history, they will hold open forums to get feedback from the public and prepare a plan to present to city council.



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