Demolition begins on downtown Biloxi's old federal courthouse

Demolition begins on downtown Biloxi's old federal courthouse
Construction teams started tearing down the old federal courthouse in Biloxi Tuesday morning. (Photo source: WLOX)

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - A Biloxi eyesore is coming down to make way for a new construction. Many people are saying it's about time.

It has been about 15 years that the old Federal Courthouse has been sitting vacant right in the middle of downtown Biloxi.  Now it's coming down and drawing the attention of passersby.

"A lot of memories in there. I used to work in there. I was a deputy US Marshal. That's where I started in the Marshal service," said Ricky Kestner.

The nostalgia isn't enough to make people like Kestner sad to see the building go. "It should have been down a long time ago. Personally, I think from the start it was an ugly building," said Kestner.

In its place will be a three-story branch of the Community Bank, the owner of the property. The development is something that downtown folks are glad to see happening. "I think it's awesome. It's great to see downtown Biloxi coming back alive," said Gregg Hall while watching the demolition from across the street.

DCD Construction has a 45-day window to tear the building down, then the work will begin on the new construction. Those behind the project say it's going to tie right in with the revitalization of the downtown area.

Hiram McCall will be seeing it all happen right across the street from the restaurant he manages. "Man it's great to see downtown Biloxi growing as much as it is and changing our skyline," he said.

As for his business during the construction, he doesn't see how it could hurt. "Anything we do to improve Biloxi is going to help with business of course. Construction going on will bring workers and people coming down to see what's going on," said Mccall.

The bank expects to break ground on the property before the end of this year and open the new branch in 2019.

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