- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 25, 2015

GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) - The Gulfport City Council has approved a revitalization project to transform a rundown alley in downtown into a spot for gathering and socializing.

David Parker, development director, said the project would transform an “eyesore” alley into a “funky, local and fun” area similar to Printer’s Alley in Nashville, Tennessee.

“This alley has been one of the biggest eyesores of downtown,” Parker said. “We will create a true destination out of the alley.”

The area will get the name Fishbone Alley, Parker said.

“This is the perfect name for the atmosphere we want this area to have,” he said. “Funky, local and fun.”

Printer’s Alley is a popular tourist spot originally home to newspapers and print shops that turned into a nightclub district in the 1940s when bars there served alcohol, even though it was outlawed.

The Sun Herald reports (https://bit.ly/1ET0Hir ) that plans for the alley will involve overhead lights, murals, vertical gardens and a new streetscape paved with Gulfport’s history.

“We are going to use 51 pallets of bricks we recovered that were the first bricks used to build this city,” Parker said.

Mayor Billy Hewes said the project will extend business for the six restaurants and bars opening onto the alley and complement any business in the area.

“There’s currently a lot of garbage in that space,” Hewes said. “I think it would look a lot better filled with hundreds of people enjoying themselves.”

In the city budget, it will be classified as a Downtown Streetscape Improvement Project, which has allotted $380,000 to Gulfport alleys.

“The project will be under budget and will do more than anyone can imagine,” Parker said.

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Information from: The Sun Herald, https://www.sunherald.com


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