HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - The Downtown Hattiesburg Association held its annual meeting during a luncheon on Thursday at the city's historic train depot.
It was an opportunity to highlight the accomplishments made in 2019 and share strategic plans for the continuing revitalization and growth of the downtown area.
Core elements include the successful recruitment and retention of businesses while also attracting visitors and residents, giving them choices of where to live, work and play.
The keynote speaker for the event was Joe Borgstrom, an expert in economic downtown development. Borgstrom told those in attendance that Hattiesburg is on the cusp of achieving great things that other cities could only hope for.
"You have a great downtown here in Hattiesburg, and I know the downtown area has seen a lot of challenges, but there's a ton of potential, and we've talked to leaders about how can downtown reach its full potential," said Borgstrom. "You haven't torn down landmark buildings. There's been a lot of communities that have made that mistake, so the historic preservation that exists here is unique, and also you have fantastic events that draws people down, so the next step is getting people to live here."
The list of successful downtown events includes Midnight on Front Street, which was held on New Year's Eve and the Star-Spangled Celebration on the River celebrating the Fourth of July.
The Downtown Hattiesburg Association focuses on a mission of revitalization and historic preservation of the downtown district and promotes marketing and education for investors and developers.
The Hattiesburg downtown district is rich in history and has unique architecture, making it the heartbeat of the city.