The goal of the Midtown Hattiesburg Master Plan is to create a walkable, workable, mixed use community that connects people to living,¬†shopping, dining, entertaining, educational, medical, cultural, and recreational venues. The project area is located just south of the USM campus and west of US 49. The Plan will take advantage of Midtown’s strategic location among the region’s major economic drivers – Forrest General Hospital, Hattiesburg Clinic and The University of Southern Mississippi – to become a highly successful and sustainable mixed use community.

The project is funded through a $150,000 Sustainable Community Challenge Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, matched by $150,000 in generous contributions from Forrest General Hospital, Hattiesburg Clinic, The University of Southern Mississippi, City of Hattiesburg, Forrest County, HUB Development, Mississippi Power Company, BancorpSouth, Area Development Partnership and several private citizens.

Midtown Hattiesburg Master Plan will be guided by the established goal to create a walkable, workable, livable mixed use community in concert with the adjacent neighborhoods. This will embody higher development densities, wider housing choices, expanded mobility, increased design standards, and greater connections to educational, medical, cultural, recreation, entertaining, shopping, and dining venues.

The major project themes underlying the Midtown Master Plan are:

Diversified: Diversifying the economy going beyond the medical oriented professional offices and services expanding into the retail-oriented and residential needs of the estimated 25,000 person customer/employee base;

Sustainable: Creating a sustainable district that incorporates development standards that are truly Green by nature and form …livable densities; live-work-play in proximity to one another; multi-modal options; solar as an integral building consideration; vertical parking replacing horizontal parking lots; capture of rain water for irrigation; use of pervious paving material; and recycling as a primary not secondary waste disposal activity;

Livable: Providing housing for a range of incomes and occupancy types, particularly working-force housing that accommodates affordable units;

Multi-modal: Incorporating all modes of transportation to enhance mobility, including transit, walking, jogging, biking, and single occupancy vehicles;

Connected: Embedding people-friendly linkages to The University of Southern Mississippi, Forrest General Hospital, Hattiesburg Clinic, adjacent residential neighborhoods of University Heights and Arcadia-Sunset, and to Longleaf Trace and Downtown;

Predictable: Providing a predictable investment environment for economic growth within Midtown that is based on a long range development plan.

Repurposed: Reinvesting Hardy Street and U.S. Highway 49 – from single-purpose arterials to multi-modal and aesthetic community assets;

Neighborhood Friendly: Protecting adjacent residential neighborhoods of University Heights and Acadia-Sunset from incompatible intrusions while ensuring they are partners in creating the Plan; and,

Environmental: Preserving and recapturing the natural environment and as part of the built environment as part of a north/south riparian corridor.