"Raquet Club Apartments" sounds like a somewhat prestigious address. These days, it's anything but. Ugly scars from the storm permeate the Courthouse Road property. But an out-of-state developer is interested in reviving the site, and will decide by February first.
"Simultaneously, we're working to condemn the property. So, if this develpment group from Atlanta does not do something with the property, then it will fall back on the owner, who lives in Tuscaloosa. And then we'll ask him to tear it down, or the city will do it," said Gulfport's urban development director, Larry Jones.
The future of another eyesore in Gulfport is less certain. What's left of Chateau De Le Mer still sits on property at Highway 90 and Cowan Road. The property manager never returned a call, and for now at least, the city is satisfied because the site is secured by a fence.
"If the property is secured, sometimes that's boarding it up or it might be putting a chain link fence around it, that's the most important thing right now," Jones explained.
A chain link fence surrounds the old Comfort Inn property on Highway 90 just east of Rodenberg in Biloxi. Realtor Bob Usey says something positive should happen soon. Several developers are eyeing the site for condominiums.
Just down the road, another hotel property remains in ruins, but it lacks the security of a chain link fence.
Along with the unsightliness of the Gulf Beach Resort property, there appears to be a safety concern there as well. Although several warning and no trespassing signs are posted on the property, the only barrier is an orange, plastic fence; certainly not enough to keep out visitors or vagrants.
The City of Biloxi's community development director promises to investigate the lack of a secure barrier at the Gulf Beach site.
"We'll do an investigation and check to see if it is open and unsecured. If it is, we'll take that up with the property owner and have him put in some level of security," said Jerry Creel, who directs the city department which includes code enforcement.
Creel says the resolution of code enforcement issues can often be a lengthy process. The City of Biloxi handles such cases in its community court. There's currently a three month back log of cases in that court.