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Development company donating roadway to Coast city

DIAMONDHEAD — City officials said they expect the donation of a road to open doors for development in the community on the Mississippi Coast.

WLOX-TV reported the Purcell real estate development company is donating 1,000 feet of narrow roadway to the city.

The donated segment begins behind the Rouses grocery store and ends at the roundabout in front of Hancock Medical Outpatient Services.

“This will allow us to be able to go to developers as well as the Mississippi development authority and other agencies to try to help get some funding for not just road improvements, but infrastructure improvements for water and sewer, but also try to create an atmosphere for public and private partnerships that we are working toward with Purcell and other developers,” said City Manager Richard Rose.

The city would also like to see the 15 acres of land surrounding the donated road developed for retail use.

The city also is working with Rouses, Triple Diamond Corporation and Purcell to obtain the strips of land bordering East Aloha Drive.

“So we want to try to create the opportunity to own the land and create the opportunity to develop a streetscape plan and make it look beautiful,” Rose said.

Rose said the streetscapes will be more welcoming to shoppers and should attract new businesses to Diamondhead.

“We do have some new businesses that are in here now compared to a couple years ago, but we still have a long ways to go and the ultimate goal would be to increase economic development so that we could reduce the mileage rate if possible,” said Diamondhead City Council member Ernie Knobloch.

City officials also are interested in improving East Aloha Drive, including a turning lane.

About a year ago the Rouses chain donated East Aloha Drive to the city. It’s also a 1,000 foot roadway.

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