Owner of Ocean Springs Seafood Market Continues Land Purchase

A conflict over land continues in Ocean Springs. Earl Fayard Jr. and his family own "The Ocean Springs Seafood Market" on Front Beach. They are ready to sell their land to anyone who wants it. Opposition killed a condo plan and now a hotel plan could face the same fate.

Miyoka Broussard talked with the Fayard Family to see what they think of the ongoing controversy."We have a constitutional right to be able to sell our property and we expect to be able to sell," said Earl Fayard, Jr. But a group called "Friends of Front Beach" wants to block the sale of Ocean Springs Seafood. Members oppose a developer's plan for a hotel on the property. In august, they convinced aldermen to say "no" to a similar plan for condominiums.

The group would like the city to buy the property and turn it into a park. "I don't know that it's fair to us to take our private property and make it public," said one member. "I wouldn't mind seeing it as public property myself, but in a real world the city has to worry about income," said another.

Tax dollars would pay for daily upkeep of this part of front beach if it becomes public property. The group also says that it's really up to the Aldermen. The option to buy the land is held by a private brokering company and is zoned for commercial use, but the sale is on hold. The California developer can buy the land but the city can do the same.

"A lot a people tell me they don't want to see public money spent here, if there is enough people that prefer that, I don't care who buys it, but we intend to sell, " Fayard said, "I've offered in almost every single opportunity to let the city buy us out and move us off front beach.. and I'll do it publicly if the city wants to buy it we're for sale."

-Rebecca Allen