Midtown redevelopment project seeks funding

Midtown redevelopment project seeks funding

HATTIESBURG, MS - The City of Hattiesburg is expected to give $1 million dollars toward a project in midtown Hattiesburg for redevelopment efforts.

The Hattiesburg City Council was presented with an update of the project at Monday's agenda setting by the Area Development Partnership and Forrest County Board of Supervisors President David Hogan.

The county board has already donated $1 million to the project, and they asked the council to consider matching that.

Council President Kim Bradley voiced his support for the match and said it is a good partnership between the city, county, Forrest General Hospital and The University of Southern Mississippi.

The midtown project, as it is called, is the redevelopment of the area between Highway 49 and 31st Avenue, stretching from USM to Adeline Street near the hospital's parking deck.

"The intent is to redevelop that area into a mixed-use type development," said ADP President Chad Newell. "It's been a bit under-utilized, and so this will be great to have a higher and better use for that several block area."

Newell said the project will add two traffic lights on Hwy 49 in order to divert traffic flow from Forrest General's emergency entrance. The first light will be placed at Adeline and 49, and the other will create an intersection at Arlington Loop and 49.

Additionally, the project will provide updated landscaping, bike lanes, sidewalks and underground power lines, as well as water and sewer improvements.

Newell said the ADP received a $3 million economic development highway grant from the Mississippi Development Authority and will apply to a federal grant through the Department of Transportation in the next few months, which will fund approximately $10 million dollars.

He did not offer a timeline for this phase of the project, but he did say he hopes to secure the federal grant by this fall.