Developers Want To Put Condos In Gautier

Since condo talk surfaced in the Mary Walker Bayou area, Bill Logan's dreams of getting out of his camper have been left hanging.

"We're going to hold until they decide on the condos," Logan says. "I don't want to move, my wife doesn't want to move, but we don't want to look at a dry boat shortage and condos sitting in our front yard."

For Richard Pipkins, that won't be a problem.

"I'm going to buy one. I had three houses here in Gautier, all of them took six feet of water. I want my house above the ground. I'm tired of fighting it," Pipkins says.

He's is also tired of fighting storms at his business - Mary Walker Marina.

"The marina's been struggling the last ten years. It's the third time we've been struck by a hurricane."

So he, along with the owners of the Tiki Restaurant and Simon's Trailer Park, plan to sell out to the condo developers.

Pipkins says new development will increase Gautier's tax base.

"Development is coming to the coast, why not Gautier? I think it'll be good for the town," Pipkins says.

But not every agrees. WLOX spoke with some residents who are against the new condos along Mary Walker Bayou. They didn't want to speak on camera for fear of retribution. But they all fear that this new condo will turn a once small town marina into a high-dollar resort - something few people in the area would be able to afford to use.

But Pipkins says the project is right in middle class America's price range.

"$400,000 is middle class America," Pipkins says.

Logan's still not excited about the plans.

"I really don't want to move," he says.

But he doesn't feel he has much of a choice.

Jerry Wallace Developments went before the Gautier Planning Commission in April with the preliminary plans. They are scheduled to bring more detailed proposals by the commission on June 1st.