BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - By Elizabeth Vowell – email
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - In the last year, a lot of construction and projects moved into the city of Biloxi. For the community development director, it's a welcome sign of growth and progress.
"We've been in negotiations ever since Katrina, five years of talking and finally some of those projects are coming to fruition," said Biloxi Community Development Director Jerry Creel.
Among the major projects are the multimillion dollar Kroc family center and an expansion of the Palace Casino.
"Certainly the construction of the Kroc recreational family center is very impressive. It's probably going to be the finest recreational facility in the southeast," said Creel. "The expansion of the palace casino is a major plus because it shows that there is interest in the casinos doing better in 2011 and beyond."
Both the Kroc Center and the Palace Casino expansion are halfway complete. However, even as those finish, Creel expects even more projects to be popping up over the next year.
"I think that the reinvestment in East Biloxi is really going to trigger some other interests in the area," said Creel.
Those other interests include plans for the new Super Wal-Mart near Edgewater Mall. According to the development director, the successes of these projects show that Biloxi is ready to support big investments.
"Obviously financing is beginning to loosen up a bit. We also have some insurance providers that have come forward with other insurance options," said Creel.
The director also says the city can expect to see more residential development with subdivisions and homes.
However, not all the city projects have run smoothly. A Woolmarket subdivision proposal caused an outcry from residents, and has been sent back to the city planning commission.
"The council felt they had raised some questions that had not been answered. I felt the questions had been answered," said Creel.
With more interest than protest coming up, the director feels that the sky is the limit with what Biloxi can offer investors.
"I think that once one of those projects breaks ground you're going to see the flood gates open and development occur," said Creel.