Huge economic project coming to Gulfport

Huge economic project coming to Gulfport
This industrial park will become a huge economic hub for South Mississippi. (Photo source: WLOX)
Local state senators say they are excited for the project. (Photo source: WLOX)
Local state senators say they are excited for the project. (Photo source: WLOX)

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Over the course of the next few years, an industrial park will become a huge economic hub for South Mississippi.

"We've got Project Crawfish. That's a thousand jobs. It's going to be a shipbuilder. It's going to be on the industrial seaway in Gulfport and the average salary is going to be $40,000 a year," said State Sen. Sean Tindell.

"This is the largest economic development project coming to Mississippi, bigger than Toyota and Nissan," said State Sen. Brice Wiggins.

In a special session last week, the state legislature approved an incentive package for two companies to come to Mississippi. Continental Tire will set up shop in Hinds County and Edison Chouest Offshore's Topshop will set up in Gulfport.

"This is a company that fits into what we do well down here," said Wiggins.

Local state senators say they are excited for the project, but they also are mindful that there could be some challenges.

"I think anytime you're looking at partnerships between private companies and state and city governments, part of it is we're working hard to provide incentives. And in return we're expecting them to fulfill the promises they offered in return," Tindell said.

In order to ease that fear, legislators were able to put a clause in the agreement.

"One of the things that made me feel comfortable, claw back, if companies don't fulfill their end the state can come and get them for their assets," said Tindell.

Project Crawfish isn't the only thing legislators are using to try and bring economic development to the Coast. They are also seeking historic tax credits, increased service in and out of the Gulfport-Biloxi airport, and to get a hold of BP restore funds.

"I don't want the question to be how can I afford to stay in Mississippi. I want it to be why would I leave," said Tindell.

The 1,000 jobs will be fulfilled by 2018.

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