Pine Belt Eyesores: East Hardy Street

HATTIESBURG,MS (WDAM) - When you drive along the 1500 block of East Hardy street in Hattiesburg abandoned buildings, boarded windows, vacant lots and piles of debris are a common sight.

When our viewers posted East Hardy street as an "eyesore" on our facebook page, the reason given by one viewer was "junky."

Even Kim Bradley, President of the Hattiesburg City Council doesn't dispute this area needs work.

"It's a turn off," said Bradley.

Bradley says this area was a thriving commercial carter years ago, but with businesses moving west the private sector just isn't here any more, which he says leaves buildings needing to be removed or revived.

"Until there is a demand from the private sector to invest the money to rehad it, its unfortunate but it is an ugly area. A blighted area that I wish there was someway to be corrected," said Bradley.

Bradley says one possible solution won't be easy.

"You received a resolution to have the property declared not a viable property. Whether it is dilapidated, not in the best interest or the health of the citizens of Hattiesburg. You could possibly have it destroyed , but that is a tough thing to do," said Bradley.

Another solution is one Bradley says councilwoman Delgado is considering for Mobile Street, which may be an option for East Hardy.

"A program to either paint the front of the buildings down on Mobile Street where older building and areas are, where it looks blighted in that area. So, the same program may be able to work on East Hardy," said Bradley.

For John Nguyen, employee of Southern Seafood on East Hardy, he says the city has neglected the area, and that oversight can detour new customers.

'Luckily, with us we having been here for a while and a lot of locals know us, but as for as new comers to the city once they drive down through here they will think twice about stopping by the businesses here," said Nguyen.

Nguyen says all the area needs is some attention and care from the city, and more businesses would come.

"Just draw some more support down this way, other businesses will feel  welcome to open up in this town. It would help this side of town," said Nguyen.

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