New beachfront park coming to Biloxi - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

New beachfront park coming to Biloxi

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

In the next several months, big changes will happen at the intersection of Highway 90 and Porter Avenue in Biloxi. A new park will take shape on property that was once used for commercial purposes. The views of the sound and beach will be one of the highlights.

The city will purchase the property with one goal in mind. 

"The biggest thing here is going to be about education and restoration," said Biloxi Public Affairs Manager Vincent Creel. "What people are going to be able to do is come down here and appreciate the quality of the environment that we live in." 

The park will tie in with the visitor's center, the lighthouse pier, and the lighthouse itself. John Hope works at the center and sees the value of the park.  

"I think it's going to be a good idea that we do that because the people will have something to enjoy and the people that come in the visitor's center will also be able to enjoy the park," Hope said. 

At first glance, the piece of property looks like any other piece of property that may have been used for commercial purposes with a paved parking lot and concrete. But there's a historical significance to this property that many people don't realize.  

"This is the believed location of the earliest settlement in Biloxi which where Fort Louis was to be built would have been right here in this area and we've got the French colonial cemetery here," Biloxi Historical Administrator Bill Raymond explained. 

According to Creel, the park will realize a mission that's been years in the making.  

"All along, we've tried to keep our eye focused on what the end vision was and that was to create something special that speaks to this history of this city," Creel said.

The purchase price on the property is $1.7 million. The park itself will cost about $2.5 million to build. All the funding comes from federal Katrina recovery money administered by the Community Development Block Grant program. 

Work should begin sometime next year, and take several months to complete.

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