The owners of a 2-acre lot in downtown Ocean Springs have organized an intensive planning session Tuesday for what to do with it, something than might benefit the community.
Vicki Rosetti-Applewhite and her husband, architects of the Ocean Springs Live free music venue on the property, are looking for a way to do something with the lot beside sell it to the highest commercial bidder.
People expected to help with the planning are what Applewhite calls downtown stakeholders — those with a general interest in downtown development and music, a well-rounded group of nonprofits and business owners.
It’s bigger than Marshal Park, and there’s no hurry to sell it.
Vicki Rosetti-Applewhite, owner
“We want the highest and best use for the community,” she told the Sun Herald. “It’s a wide-open blank canvas.”
It’s larger than the city’s Marshal Park, which is in the same neighborhood and used for festivals, tree lighting and city events.
She said she didn’t think the city could afford to buy the space, plus she’s not interested in giving up total control. Maybe a public-private partnership, she suggested, but not a boutique hotel.
There’s no hurry, she said. She’s willing to wait to see how Ocean Springs downtown evolves. But in the meantime, she wants ideas on what’s needed for the space — bathrooms, shaded buildings, bike racks, fountains, plantings, lighting, a stage, shade porticoes?
She calls it one of the last developable commercial pieces downtown but is leaning toward keeping it open with a music bent.
Residents will tour the property then throw out ideas to designers for immediate feedback and drawings.
There should be some concrete ideas on paper by noon Tuesday, Applewhite said.
“We’re just looking to do something cool,” she said.