The face of east Biloxi is about to change

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The meeting lasted 10 minutes. It was just enough time for members of the Development Review Committee in Biloxi to give a thumbs-up to the plan to turn this area into green space complete with grass, live oaks and a pedestrian walkway. An irritating eyesore is slowly disappearing.

At St. Michael Church, you can see the remains of the casino through stained glass windows. Seeing it go away will mean one thing. Father Gregory Barras is the pastor there.

"Definitely it will bring people to Point Cadet, because it's inviting and now you can come and use the space. You can be by the water, relax and enjoy and hopefully it will draw people over to visit the church and come in and pray and give thanks to God," Barras said.

According to Barras, a big worry for the church is also going away.

"We were afraid of any hurricane coming in and what would wash over and destroy the church. Now there is much relief for that," said Barras.

City leaders are just as pleased with the plans. Paul Tisdale is a member of the city council.

"It's kind of a reminder of a past that most of us would like to forget. So it's great to be rid of an eyesore, and it will be great to see some green space there," Tisdale said.

There's a real hope here among city officials and the people who live on Point Cadet in east Biloxi that once the concrete and steel is gone and replaced with a green space and a park open to the public, things will change for the better and more economic development will follow.

Jerry Creel is the Community Development Director for the city.

"This was one of the conditions that a number of financial people have told us that it was holding up their investment in east Biloxi. So with the old Margaritaville coming down, we expect to see great things happen along the Point," Creel said.

It will certainly be an improvement over what's been seen in the past.

City officials say if the project stays on schedule, the green space should be finished and ready for use by mid-summer.

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