HATTIESBURG COUNCIL APPROVES NEXT STEP FOR GORDON’S CREEK COMMONS
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By HASKEL BURNS
Tue,09/13/22-2:11PM, 1,874 Reads
Hattiesburg City Council members recently took the next step toward the implementation of the upcoming Gordon’s Creek Commons development, approving the location of that project’s food trucks and the organization that will manage that endeavor.
With that vote, the city will purchase a parcel of land adjoining Hardy Street that will serve as one of the main entrances to the commons, and NEVLO LLC will manage the food truck park at the site. When completed, Gordon’s Creek Commons will offer several amenities in the area between Hardy Street, McLeod Street and Pine Street, along the west bank of Gordon’s Creek in downtown Hattiesburg.
“(The purchase) is one of those parcels of land for pedestrians and vehicles where the food trucks will actually go, which is what we’re signing a lease for,” Mayor Toby Barker said. “One of those parcels of land that adjoins Hardy Street. “It’s basically across from BancorpSouth (on Hardy Street) – it’s the parcel that fronts Hardy Street.”
Back in February 2021, Barker and other officials announced that Tom King – who serves as Transportation Commissioner for the Mississippi Department of Transportation’s Southern District – had helped secure $1.4 million in grant funding from that organization for Gordon’s Creek Commons. The project is designed to provide a route for pedestrians and bicycles along the perimeter of the creek.
The commons will include amenities such as a series of 6-goot and 8-foot concrete pathways and connection points to surrounding areas; an entrance gateway plaza near Pine Street; two wooden boardwalks; a bridge with handrails over Gordon’s Creek; shade structures on each side of the bridge; lighting; and four seating areas.
In addition, the development also will include 8-foot concrete pathways along the east side of Gordon’s Creek, along with a connection to parking on McLeod Street. The commons also will connect pedestrians from that area to Kamper Park and downtown Hattiesburg, which will offer more opportunities for restaurants, shopping and historic residential districts.
The development – which will be constructed in phases – also will include a splash pad, stage, and shipping containers for restaurants and retail opportunities.
Perhaps the biggest draw of Gordon’s Creek Commons will be the food truck area, which was recently approved in an ordinance passed by Hattiesburg City Council members. The food truck lot is expected to be on the lot before the end of this year, with the pedestrian/bike trail set to go to bid sometime before the end of this year as well.
If all goes according to plan, construction will begin some time in the first park of next year. Work is expected to last anywhere from eight months to a year; the food trucks will be available while the trail is being completed.
“(This) has been a long-term vision, and one that we believe will be a major highlight of our administration,” Barker said. “We believe Gordon’s Creek can be more than just a drainage ditch; we believe it can be an amenity.
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“Having a place that allows for walking and biking, but also actual commerce, I believe can be a center of downtown.”
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