New development on the Coast: Downtown living, hotels, restaurants and cargo-container shops

June 17, 2019

Sun Herald

Reservations are open for Centennial Plaza’s hotel, downtown living is coming to Gulfport and new stores are opening as development spreads across South Mississippi.

Here is a roundup of the projects:

▪ Those who want to be among the first to stay at Centennial Plaza and play at the colorful new water park now can make a reservation for Labor Day Weekend and beyond. is booking rooms at the Grand Centennial Hotel and the Oasis Resort Gulfport at Centennial Plaza on U.S. 90 in Gulfport.

If the resort is ready for its big debut before the last weekend in August, reservations will open for earlier dates, said spokesman Cono Caranna. Festivals like the new Chillin’ on the Gulf Coast in September, weddings and other events also are being booked at the 150-acre resort that will have a mix of restaurants, lodging, attractions and eventually housing.

Drive by Centennial Plaza at night and the lights are on again for the first time in decades, said Greg Pietrangelo, Gulfport’s director of urban development. He rode by in the daytime and saw a bride in her gown with two photographers going into the wedding chapel.

“It’s all starting,” he said.

▪ In downtown Gulfport, the old Cadillac Club on 27th Avenue is now home to residents moving into one- and two-bedroom apartments on the third and fourth floors.

“Downtown living is finally coming to the City of Gulfport,” Pietrangelo said.

This new mixed-use development, with a restaurant on the first floor, commercial space on the second and two floors of rental units, has investors and property owners talking about downtown housing, said Laurie Toups, Gulfport Main Street director.

“People are looking at the cost per-square-foot to build more,” she said.

With the Mississippi Aquarium posting job openings for biologists and other top-level staff, Toups said she expects more interest in the downtown leading up to the opening of the aquarium in late 2019 or early 2020.

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