Caillavet Street project continues - - The News for South Mississippi

Caillavet Street project continues

By Jessica Bowman – email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - You might see a change on Caillavet Street in the near future. Businesses on this street say they have been waiting for years for a change but still see nothing.  But, Biloxi City officials say it is a work in progress.

Biloxi Community Development Director Jerry Creel says he hopes one day you will see fewer cars and more people walking down this street.

Jerry Creel says, "The original vision for Caillavet Street is that it would be a walk-able entertainment district that had shops and delis and cafes and museums and art galleries from Highway 90 all the way to Back Bay Blvd."

But some businesses that are already located on Caillavet Street say it's time for a change.

Jim Gunkel says, "Right now I think it's kind of dead there were all these plans that were drawn up and I think widening Caillavet Street was originally plan for this place to originally come something like Beale Street."

Sprucing up Caillavet Street has been in the works for several years but Katrina hit putting a dent in the process.

Jerry Creel says, "The sidewalks, the drain pipes those things after Katrina had to be corrected."

"But now, we're five years after Katrina and we're not seeing a lot of activity," says Jim Gunkel.

Quality Poultry and Seafood Business Manager Jim Gunkle says this business has been on Caillavet Street for many years and they are ready for traffic to pick up.

"Start selling property get people with ideas with money to come down here I think our economy is getting strong enough its coming back good enough that we should be able to attract some people downtown," says Jim Gunkel.

So is the economy to blame for the projects delay?

Jerry Creel says, "Well, who can say we certainly would like for it to be completed very quickly but it's going to depend on a lot of things you know we're still struggling with insurance and certainly everyone's struggling with finances." He continues, "We hope that it will be the walk-able entertainment district kind of compared it to Beale Street in Memphis."

Creel says there are Caillavet design standards that new buildings have to abide by.

He says some of those standards include two story buildings with canopies.

Creel says a casino was in the plans at one time but that has never materialized. He says there are a couple of restaurants that have gone through the approval process to build on Caillavet Street.

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