Back in Business: Waveland's Coleman Ave. rebounds
By Dwayne Bremer
Sep 24, 2013, 18:42
The city of Waveland has now leased out every space in the long-vacant Waveland Business Center on Coleman Ave.
Prior to Hurricane Katrina, Coleman Avenue was the heart of the city of Waveland's government and small business community.
Eight years later, the once desolated street is starting to see signs of life once again.
The Waveland Business Center, formerly known as the business incubator, is finally being used and more tenants are on the way, Mayor David Garcia said Tuesday.
The business center now features a marketing company, Lime Pi Digital, and the new Wild Bill's Diner, owned by Waveland resident William "Wild Bill" Laprime.
Garcia said more businesses will be coming soon, including a fine-dining restaurant.
"We have leased all of the space at the business center," Garcia said. "We are hoping this will be the spark for more businesses to come back to Coleman Avenue."
Before Katrina, Coleman Avenue was a mix of residential homes, small businesses, and city facilities.
Residents could do just about everything on Coleman Avenue, from getting a hair cut, to picking up groceries, to fine dining.
The new businesses will join Digital Engineering and C &R Bar, which were the first two businesses to return to Coleman after the storm.
Last year, the city opened its new city hall and fire station across the street from the business center.
"You can already see more traffic," Garcia said. "We are finally starting to see more life on Coleman Avenue."
In 2008, the city was awarded a $2.4 million grant through the federally-funded Community Revitalization program and awarded another $1.1 million from the Community Development Block Grant program for a business center.
The original idea was to build a place for small businesses to flourish.
The city tossed around the idea of having the Hancock County Chamber of Commerce occupy the facility, but those plans fell through.
Garcia said the city will receive rent from the tenants of the facility and that money will be used for upkeep and insurance on the center.
"I think this could be a very positive thing for the city headed into the future," Garcia said. "Hopefully, it is the start of something."