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3 on the Road: Vicksburg Downtown Development

Updated: Jun. 20, 2018 at 8:23 PM CDT
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Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT

VICKSBURG, MS (Mississippi News Now) - Vicksburg is an old city. The third oldest settlement in the state was here, behind Ocean Springs and Natchez.

And, of course, a major turning point of the Civil War was the Siege of Vicksburg. So Vicksburg has had a hobby, if not a profession, of looking back.

But there are those who are coming here who have visions of a bright future for Vicksburg and Warren County. Tim Cantwell is a Vicksburg developer.

"We think Vicksburg's a world-class city waiting to discover itself, said Cantwell. "It has resources that are extraordinary."

Tim first visited Vicksburg on a fishing trip with his grandfather in the late 1970's and made his first real estate investment here at that time. Since then his company has converted some older buildings into apartments for families and others for upscale living, as with The Loft, the old First National Bank Building downtown. Trustmark is still on the ground floor.

"And then we gutted the upper 8 floors and put in 55 apartments and a rooftop bar and grill known as 10 South Rooftop Bar and Grill."

The views from 10 South are spectacular. And to the west is the one commodity that Tim says Vicksburg has that he sees as underdeveloped, the Mississippi River.

"The city used to be fully embraced to the river and over the decades and decades sort of turned its back in it," added Tim. "We sought to embrace the river in every which way that we possibly can."

One of Tim's projects is Cottonwood Public House, a restaurant and micro-brewery on Washington in downtown Vicksburg.

"We'll be adding two floors here on the top of the Cottonwood Public House, which is host for Key City Brewing Company, Vicksburg's own nano-brewery," said Tim

Tim's next project is conversion of the old Mississippi Hardware building across from the Convention Center into a state of the art education facility to provide talent to augment the highly technical jobs coming into the area, particularly at the Corp or Engineers Research Facility that's already here.

Tim has lots of investors who have seen Vicksburg, "And they come and they look and they find this to be an extraordinary town."

So are THEY are seeing that people who lived here for decades AREN'T seeing?

"Unfound treasures in your own backyard is what that's called," added Tim.

Perhaps it's the perspective. The past has been our industry keeping us anchored there, instead of our inspiration springing us into the future. A future Tim says he sees as prosperous for everybody.

"I see Vicksburg growing," said Tim. "And with growth and people, all, everybody's ship floats better."

Here's to THAT kind of high water in the future for Vicksburg and Warren County and ALL of Mississippi.

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