Downtown Biloxi is beginning to come alive once again - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Downtown Biloxi is beginning to come alive once again

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BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

At one time, Vieux Marche was the vibrant heart of Biloxi. For many years, the buildings that were once hot spots have been sitting vacant. That is beginning to change as the new baseball stadium takes shape.

The historic Kress Building will soon be a stage for music and art.

"It has really been a need for some real emotion, some punch in the gut type draw down here, and over time with the right kind of people, the right musicians, the right entertainment, we will get that done," Kress Building Co-owner Chase Taylor said.

"One of our main goals for our project was to kind of interject some culture into the community and rebuild the downtown area," said Taylor's business partner, Nick Quave.

Kress Live's line up is expected to include 120 shows in the first year of business and attract around 200,000 people.

The owners believe their venue could be what it takes to get rid of the ‘for rent' and ‘for sale' signs that have plagued the street for a long time.

"These other small businesses would pop up every once in a while and flourish because of the excitement, but then they kind of lack the real traffic they need to be successful," Taylor said. "We hope to help with that in addition to the other new developments down here."

Across the alley from Kress Live, another new business is opening soon.

"What we are trying to do is bring a Las Vegas style atmosphere to the Coast," Nicole Ledet said.

Ledet is the Manager of Level, which is being branded as a premier luxury night club.

"It is a really good area with all the baseball and other things coming as well," Ledet said. "We are really hoping to rejuvenate this area and get a lot of good businesses down here, restaurants, clubs, and have a good scene that you could come park, walk through, go to the games, enjoy yourself and get Biloxi alive."

Biloxi's Community Development Director Jerry Creel said people are calling his office every single day inquiring about opening businesses in downtown Biloxi.

"I think with the timing, you are going to see the level of urgency intensify as we get closer to the baseball stadium opening," Creel said. "Right now it's just questions about what if, could we do this, could we do that."

You can learn more about the newest downtown businesses, Kress Live at http://www.kresslive.com/ or Level at http://www.levelbiloxi.com/.

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