New Condo Towers Pitched For Long Beach - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

06/14/05

New Condo Towers Pitched For Long Beach

Creekstone developers are ready to invest more than $100 million into their project. 

The Baton Rouge developers know they're trying to build in a South Mississippi city where other condos have gotten a luke warm reception. Yet, they have confidence that their three tower design will be a welcome addition to west Long Beach.

A model of what Everett Jackson wants to build in Long Beach sat on a table in the middle of the Great Southern Club.

"This is the type thing we do," the Creekstone group C.E.O. said while describing the model.

Six months ago, Creekstone found property adjacent to White Harbor Avenue that it wanted to turn into its first Mississippi condominium project.

"I really think this is a benefit to the community," Jackson said. "It's going to bring a lot of tax money over a period of time. And it also brings a clientele that they will spend money in your community."

Jackson's team showed its model to local realtors, so they could go out and start selling the project.

The model brings the Creekstone vision into sharp focus. Three towers would be home to 420 condominium units.

"Basically the design is such that every unit has a view to the gulf," the C.E.O. said.

Creekstone's condominiums would be built between Pitcher Point Avenue and White Harbor Avenue. The three towers would each be 16 stories high.

Sixteen stories is the legal height limit, based on Long Beach's C-2 zoning restrictions on this property.

Sixteen stories doesn't sit well with Jim Gardner. Gardner is the man who's lived on Pitcher Point for the last year and a half.

"It just wrecks the view, and I think it wrecks the whole city," the Long Beacn man said.

Gardner's back yard faces the Creekstone property. If the condo towers were built, his view of the Mississippi Sound would be blocked.

"There's no question somebody is going to develop that. That's not the question," Gardner said. "But I don't think we need, in this area, 16 story condominiums."

Right now, Long Beach ordinances allow the 16 story project. So Jackson's team came to the coast and unveiled its designs.

"You have a resort feel," he said. "And this is where people want to come. They want to vacation here. They want to have ownership here, that type of thing. There is a lot of demand for this product."

Long Beach Mayor Billy Skellie and the city's planning director said they hadn't seen Creekstone's plans for three 180 foot condo towers.

Long Beach's three newly elected aldermen think the city should amend its ordinance, so condos can be no more than 75 feet high. That debate will likely begin again when they officially take office next month.

by Brad Kessie

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