Main Street turns attention to blighted properties

GULFPORT — Now that downtown historic storefronts have been renovated, drawing new tenants and customers, Gulfport’s Main Street director is turning her attention to vacant lots potentially contaminated by petroleum or hazardous chemicals.

The city wants to identify and assess contaminated properties that can be returned to productivity, generating jobs and tax revenue.

Lisa Bradley, executive director of Gulfport Main Street, tells The Sun Herald the city has received $400,000 in grants for the assessments. Bradley says proposals have been solicited for a consultant to identify and test the sites. An advisory panel will hold public meetings to help decide which sites should be tested.

Gulfport’s application for assessment funds identified 45 potential brownfields, including properties where gas stations, dry cleaners and automobile repair shops once operated.

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