Midtown project continues as planned
Published: Thursday, September 6, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 6, 2012 00:09
Hattiesburg residents can expect additions to the midtown area of the city thanks to a project called “Midtown in Motion,” the goal of which is to create a “walkable, workable, mixed use community that connects people to living, shopping, dining, entertaining, educational, medical, cultural, and recreational venues,” according to midtowninmotion.org.
Midtown is the area between the University of Southern Mississippi and Forrest General Hospital from U.S. 49 to 33rd Street, and it is expected to grow into a more beautiful and exciting place over the next few years.
Some of the ideas for midtown include venues for local bands, a trolley connection with USM, a grocery store, a cultural infrastructure, mixed uses such as retail and housing, sidewalks and more crosswalks, green space and the beautification of U.S. 49.
“I’m glad Hattiesburg is doing this,” senior graphic design major Jordan Klingenfus said. “It’s going to be really good for USM.” Klingenfus said she is especially excited about the bike lanes and open green spaces.
According to Forrest County planning director Kara Drane, the Midtown Steering Committee met this summer to do outreach to property owners in the area and make revisions to the Midtown Hattiesburg Master Plan.
“These meetings were to review elements of the master plan and the new draft code and zoning map, which will implement the vision for midtown Hattiesburg as a mixed-use high density district,” Drane said.
There will be a public revealing of the documents in September. Students and faculty are encouraged to get involved and attend the meeting and public hearings scheduled in October.
Forrest General Hospital acquired property and has been in the process of demolishing buildings and re-grassing the lots, a change that can be seen from campus. Midtown plans to lead the way in being green by using green building techniques, using storm water management techniques and planting urban forests.
One of the storm water management techniques is by restoring Little Gordy Creek, which runs through midtown. This will make the area greener and more beautiful and will provide a place to ride bikes and walk.