coast

A Mississippi city has completed the $5 million purchase of a former shopping mall site, with plans to create a performing arts center.

The former Singing River mall in Gautier was demolished in February 2014. Plans for new development were stifled for years due to its large size and a changing retail environment.

The 55-acre parcel was purchased with Gulf Coast Restoration funds and some bond money from the state Legislature, according to Mississippi Gulf Coast news outlets, which reported that the city of Cautier closed on the sale this week.

Plans call for an expanded Town Center where citizens and visitors dine, shop and do business — and a Mississippi Songwriters Performing Arts Center. A nearby park will have a concession area for multiple food trucks, as well as a large movie screen for community movie nights.

The city hasn’t released a timetable for the project.

“The redevelopment of this prime U.S. 90 frontage property will alter the character of the City and give it a unique downtown feel,” Mayor Casey Vaughan said.

In September, city leaders unveiled renderings of the Town Center’s amphitheater, which will feature a large shade structure and a turf lawn seating area that can house 1,250 seats in the front with standing room in a common grass area in the back.

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