Gulfport Apartment Meets Demolition Deadline

In February's state of the city address, Gulfport Mayor Brent Warr said, "We have been informed by the separate owners of Chateau de la Mer, on the corner of Highway 90 and Cowan Road, and the Racquet Club Apartments on Courthouse Road that both properties are to be demolished within the next 60 days."

Monday was that deadline. And one of the hurricane damaged complexes is coming down.

The Racquet Club Apartments are battered and beaten.

"Damage is extensive, to say the least," Larry Rutland said.

He's part of the demolition team hired to tear down apartments that have been rotting since the hurricane hit 19 months ago.

"We're all amazed at the amount of damage that it did," Rutland said.

In time, Racquet Club will be memory. And a proposed 426 unit complex called the Columns at Gulfport will replace it.

According to Gulfport Mayor Brent Warr, "It should be high quality housing that we're very, very short of right now."

The demolition started within the two month window Warr announced February 8, 2007 during his state of the city address.

The mayor also said in that speech that Chateau de la Mer would be knocked down in that same 60 day time frame. Yet, what's left of a Highway 90 condominium that got blindsided by Katrina is still standing.

"I just had a conversation with some of the principles. And they said that if this contract doesn't close, that they would appreciate us actually giving them legal notice that it needs to come down, which we intend to do," said the mayor.

While the city determines what it's next move should be with the condominium property, demolition goes on over at the Racquet Club. The Courthouse Road property should be cleared in two months.

A Georgia company called the ECI Group is transforming the Racquet Club location into the Columns at Gulfport. A spokesperson says the first apartments should be built in nine months.