BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - The numbers show that's it's been a busy year for development in Bay Saint Louis.
Mayor Mike Favre wants it to be busier. "We can get people here, but we can't keep them here. We lose that percentage of people each day that come," said Favre.
According to Favre, there was a housing boom with more than 140 new constructions in the city. He knows that's great for the city, but he also wants to see a hotel to open up. There's a particular project that he's not ready to give up on.
Developer Jim Macphaille put his idea on hold that would have transformed the old second street elementary building into a boutique hotel. "It's a very good development. I feel like it's good for the neighborhood. We just need to make sure that we can satisfy the neighbors along with the property owner," said Favre.
According to the Mayor, there were people in the area who weren't sold on the project. The developer also hit another snag when he found out that the property was in two different zones.
"When you have a piece of property with two zones, it's very difficult for anyone to do something with without jumping through hoops. We need to be welcoming to these people and not trying to make it harder and forcing them out," said Favre.
Others around the city agree with Favre about the need for development. Ray Murphy thinks the majority of the citizens would support the hotel project. "I guarantee if you put it to a vote, the local people will support it, but to let a handful of people come in and stop what we've been trying to do for years. I think it's absurd," said Murphy.
Murphy runs a restaurant downtown. He says it would be great for business, and great for the area,to have a project like the boutique hotel to open nearby. "You can bring a boutique hotel or whatever you want to call it like Mr. Macphaille's doing, they need to let it roll. It's only going to benefit everybody," said Murphy.