BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The development momentum seems to be building in Biloxi, this time on the west end of town. Retail stores, strip malls, even hotels are just some of the projects planned for areas around Edgewater Mall and Edgewater Village. And those developments could help revitalize west Biloxi.
The Golden Arches will once again rise over an empty lot in west Biloxi. McDonalds, wiped out by Hurricane Katrina eight years ago, is returning to the corner of Eisenhower Drive and Highway 90.
"We've been working on this McDonalds probably two to three years, trying to get it worked out and we've issued the building permit for it. It's a $1 million project and we're scheduled to start work this week," said Jerry Creel, Biloxi's Community Development Director.
Construction is expected to move rapidly and the fast food restaurant could open sometime this fall. Speaking of restaurant, the vacant Schlotzky's Deli building, which ended up on the city's blighted list, will soon be gone.
"I would expect that probably within the next month that building will be torn down and you'll see the new Murphy's Express Oil built there, which is something that we need in that area," said Creel.
Another new name is coming to the area. A pet store called Pet Sense plans to move into a 6,000 square foot space at Edgewater Village. It's located next to Subway. The restaurant manager welcomes his new neighbor.
"I think it's good for our business and the surrounding areas. It's a big improvement since Katrina. I'm glad everything's rebuilding back," said Matthew Shavers.
Other proposed projects include a strip mall right next to the new Walmart. And a piece of property on Highway 90 could be home to a residential development.
"We just reviewed a site plan for an apartment complex to go at the corner of Highway 90. It's a hotel-slash-apartment complex at the corner of Highway 90 and Grand View Drive. There'll be 118 units in the apartment complex and 105 rooms in the hotel," said Creel.
Creel hinted that this growth spurt in west Biloxi is just the beginning. He also mentioned that more homes are under construction in subdivisions like Goose Pointe and Beauvoir Pass.