New Walmart could bring new business to west Biloxi

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Inside Walmart's latest addition in Biloxi, the shelves are almost ready to receive stock, and outside, plants and trees are providing a finishing touch to the building.

Nearby, construction crews are adding turn lanes to Highway 90 to allow traffic to easily flow in and out.

While anticipation is building around the store's opening, there is one byproduct of Walmart that Biloxi city officials are especially excited about.

"Walmart just seems to be a catalyst for attracting other development," said Community Development Director Jerry Creel. "Everyone wants to locate somewhere in the vicinity of Walmart because of the traffic they generate."

The area around CT Switzer Road and Edgewater Village has been slow to redevelop after Katrina.  But officials believe the presence of a powerhouse store will kick start investment.

"The general manager that manages the Edgewater Village told me that he had a half a dozen leases ready to sign as soon as Walmart got close to opening. So, we expect to hear some announcements like that," said Creel.

The community director says that Edgewater Mall has also seen some activity.

"Edgewater mall is currently creating outposts to provide space for some restaurants to move in," said Creel.

The new Walmart will of course create new jobs and help generate revenue in Biloxi, but its biggest impact could be revitalization.

"We see a lot of it coming back right along the water's edge and to me that's a big message because we were so concerned that may be the last areas to redevelop," said Creel.

The cost of the Walmart development was around $11 million.

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