New Walmart Supercenter making surrounding property attractive

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Biloxi leaders said as construction of the new Walmart Supercenter moves further along, potential investors are taking more interest in properties surrounding the new store. Community Development Director Jerry Creel said he's getting a lot of calls from retailers asking about vacant property near Eisenhower Drive.

Crews have put up the walls on the new Supercenter going up on C.T. Switzer Road.

"They're putting the roof membrane on right now, so in the past two weeks they've made a tremendous amount of progress," said Creel.

The new Walmart isn't scheduled to open until January. However, Biloxi Community Development Director Jerry Creel said it's already made an impact on nearby Edgewater Village: A shopping center that has been largely vacant since it was restored from Hurricane Katrina damage.

"Edgewater Village has a number of contracts and leases ready to sign as ready as soon as Walmart gets closer to completion," Creel said.  "I just think that this is going to be a re-energized area."

Creel said he can't name names right now, but he's getting a lot of calls from potential investors inquiring about square footage, zoning, and other questions about surrounding vacant property.

"The owner of the property, or the majority owner of that vacant property that's over there, I talk to him once or twice a week," said Creel. "He's getting more calls than we are, so there's a tremendous amount of interest in that property in and around Edgewater Mall."

As the completion date moves closer, Creel said he thinks more retailers will start setting up shop next to Walmart. That would mean more sales tax dollars in Biloxi's coffers.

"The property is vacant. That it's right on beach and has a great deal of exposure, I think all of those things play a big part in the interest that's happening."

He said tax credits have also added a little incentive to redevelopment on the beach front.

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