Harrison County Court declares remains of condo project as “blighted”

Harrison County Court declares remains of condo project as “blighted”
The property's owner has until the beginning of March to appeal the court's order. (Photo Source: WLOX)

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Henderson Point residents upset by the remains of a stalled condo project are excited by news that the property may finally come down.

Construction on the condominium complex started in 2007, suddenly stopped in 2008 and never restarted.

In the decade since, the dormant concrete and metal has drawn a lot of complaints from neighbors. The Harrison County Board of Supervisors has been involved in a long legal battle with the property's owner to demolish it.

Last week, the Harrison County Circuit Court declared this as a blighted property, giving the county permission to finally tear it down.

"I know that the community will cheer the day that it comes down. We still have things to do, but it does feel good that we were able to accomplish this." Tim Holleman Harrison County Board Attorney

The beauty of beach is one reason Dave and Dianne Fish have picked Henderson Point to escape the Wisconsin winter for the past six years. They say they love everything about the view as they take their morning walks, except for one thing.

They call the skeleton of the complex that never came to life an eyesore and ghastly. It sits right next door to Inn By The Sea, where the Fishes are renting.

Part of the battle was putting a new law in place that would gave the county the authority to demolish blighted properties that would cost more than $20,000 to complete.

District Three Supervisor Marlin Ladner led the effort to get the law passed, which he says sends a message to future developers.

Ladner explained, "We want to encourage development, that's part of it. We need development, we need the tax money. On the other hand, citizens have the right not to have their properties devalued and this sort of blighted looking structures to remain."

The Fishes are glad their view in Henderson Point will someday improve.

"Once they're physically down, it'll be a real sigh of relief, for us at least to enjoy the natural beauty. So if it comes down the sooner the better," said Dave Fish.

The property's owner has until the beginning of March to appeal the court's order. If the owner does not appeal, county officials say the next step will be getting bids from contractors to demolish the structure as quickly as possible.

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