$76 million transformation planned for Point Cadet

$76 million transformation planned for Point Cadet
(Photo Source: BMA)
Boat manufacturers are expected to benefit from this project. (Photo Source: BMA)
Boat manufacturers are expected to benefit from this project. (Photo Source: BMA)

Plans are in the works to transform a section of Biloxi's waterfront.

The Point Cadet Enterprise project would be geared at bringing a lot more visitors to South Mississippi.

It would take tens of millions of dollars, but Mayor FoFo Gilich said turning the Point Cadet area into something brand new would be worth it. "We're trying to gather forces and build a facility that all can use, as well as another million visitors per year," said Gilich.

The Marina would essentially be redesigned and rebuilt. A 200,000 square foot research and retail facility will also be constructed on the lot.

Gilich said the $76 million needed for the overhaul are within reach through Tidelands funds and other sources.

The annual Billfish Tournament held at the marina could see a big spike in attendance after the transformation.

As tournament director, Bobby Carter is excited about the possibilities. "You've heard it before, build it they will come. Well, if you build it, I promise they will come," said Carter.

According to Carter, it wouldn't just be tourists coming in. He believes some serious businesses would be interested, especially boat manufacturers.

"For example, Viking would come, Hatteras, Bertram, Contender, Yellowfin, they would all come to this area. They enjoy coming here, but they consider it a third world marina because it just needs a lot of improvements," said Carter.

Carter said the marina had to be built back like it was before Katrina, and now needs serious updating. He thinks this project could compete with other tourist and boating destinations throughout the region. "There's no reason why we can't do that here," he said.

Gilich said there are still testing phases to be done on this project before construction can start. Those should be happening within the next year.

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