Former Caillavet Street Merchants Reopen Elsewhere

Paul Broussard has done business with Biloxi for more than 20 years. His biggest deal may have been two years ago. Broussard sold his original auto parts store property, so Biloxi could move ahead with its Caillavet Street widening project.

"The city told us we had to leave," said Broussard. "They were taking our property for street expansion."

So Broussard moved off Caillavet, and out of Biloxi. He reopened the auto parts store on Auto Mall Parkway in D'Iberville. "Our business is still good. It's not growing as fast as it was in Biloxi. But we're still doing well," said Broussard.

Marble manufacturer Fred Swan used to be one of Broussard's neighbors. Just like Broussard, he sold his land to Biloxi. "It was a trying time," remembers Swan. "I mean, it was a hard decision to find a place that works properly with the kind of business that you have."

Swan's marble plant was once on the east side of Caillavet. It was in the path of the wider road. So he moved the operation to Woolmarket Road, and doubled the size of the plant.

"In my case," said Swan, "I'm happy where I'm at right now."

Swan's in a unique position, because he's on both sides of the Caillavet Street project. He sold one Caillavet property. But he gets to keep the land where his plumbing supply store operates. And he expects it to benefit from the widening work.

"I don't know what Caillavet Street is going to look like 10 years from now," said Swan. "But I suspect it's going to be a nice, clean street."

According to Biloxi administrators, the city has acquired more than half the properties it needs to widen Caillavet Street. A timetable to start the construction hasn't been set.