Before Katrina, the Long Beach Harbor was known for its amazing restaurants, ideal fishing spots, and one of the best sunset views the coast has to offer. That harbor is now just a memory.
But Florida developer Jerry Wallace has designed a project worth more than $500 million to redesign the harbor area. Gulf Sands Resort and Marina would include 1000 luxury residential condos, nearly 1000 boat slips, restaurants, and shops.
Long Beach residents, including members of the Port Commission and the Board of Aldermen, had the opportunity Thursday evening to see this proposal for the first time in full view.
And there were plenty of questions and concerns.
"What happens to me when you go to build this where I'm tying my boat up right now as we speak sir? What happens to me and him, and there's a few others here. What happens to us? We've all lost our homes. All we have is a boat and boat slip right now," said one resident.
"An undertaking of this magnitude is going to require a tremendous expansion of the infrastructure here, sewage, water, electricity, etc. What is your plans in terms of expanding Long Beach's capabilities so that this doesn't fall back on taxpayers," another resident in the crowd asked.
"I think it's a great idea. A lot of local businesses here have lost everything they got. A lot of homes are gone, we have a tax base that is non-existent, especially in Long Beach/Pass Christian area. We need it," said Scott Turan.
"Condos,18 rise building? Ridiculous. Our nice Long Beach is gone. Forget about it. I think it's absolutely ridiculous. It upsets me very much," said Sibylle Heidrich.
The city will take those opinions under consideration as the city determines the best way to erect the future.
Port Commission President Phil Kies says after the meeting, the commission will have a formal meeting where the members can vote on this proposal.
The issue will then go before the Mayor and Board of Aldermen.