Biloxi booming along Highway 90

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Driving down Highway 90 in Biloxi, it's hard to miss the construction zones.  The mechanical buzz drifting above the cars is sweet music for the city that has struggled to attract beachfront businesses.

"Biloxi offers the entire package. We have the beach of course, we have the casinos...restaurants and retail and historic landmarks. We have all the events that come here. It's just a fun place to live, and certainly a fun place to have a development," said Biloxi Development Director Jerry Creel.

That's something that investors are finding out first hand.  In the past few years, officials say development around the city has exploded.

According to Creel, Biloxi has 33 major projects under way valued at about $310 million in construction evaluation.

It has been a struggle to get to this point.  The city had to overcome Hurricane Katrina, tax hikes, the oil spill and more.

"Finally, we overcame those obstacles, and then we had the economic downturn for the country and everyone was having trouble getting financing for their projects," said Creel.

Now, especially along Highway 90, residents can see the fruits of investors.

Shaggy's has opened to a huge reception, Sharkheads is coming to life, and lots now empty, will soon hold new hotels.

City officials say one big boost was a tax incentive offered by the Biloxi City Council.

Developments further north are also pulling more business to the beachfront.  Officials say it's just the beginning for the city.

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